Lao Tzu was an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer.
He is the reputed author of the Tao Te Ching, the founder of philosophical Taoism, and a deity in religious Taoism and traditional Chinese religions.
A central figure in Chinese culture, Lao Tzu is claimed by both the emperors of the Tang dynasty and modern people of the Li surname as a founder of their lineage.
His work has been embraced by both various anti-authoritarian movements and Chinese Legalism.
According to Chinese tradition, Lao Tzu lived in the 6th century BCE.
Historians variously contend that Laozi is a synthesis of multiple historical figures, that he is a mythical figure, or that he actually lived in the 5th-4th century BCE, concurrent with the Hundred Schools of Thought and the Warring States Period.
Political theorists influenced by Lao Tzu have advocated humility in leadership and a restrained approach to statecraft, either for ethical and pacifist reasons or for tactical ends.
In a different context, various anti-authoritarian movements have embraced the Lao Tzu teachings on the power of the weak.
1. “When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you.”
2. “Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.”
3. “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
4. “At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”
5. “Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”
6. “Give evil nothing to oppose and it will disappear by itself.”
7. “I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.”
8. “The reason why the universe is eternal is that it does not live for itself; it gives life to others as it transforms.”
9. “The past has no power to stop you from being present now. Only your grievance about the past can do that. What is grievance? The baggage of old thought and emotion.”
10. “Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.”
11. “Would you like to save the world from the degradation and destruction it seems destined for? Then step away from shallow mass movements and quietly go to work on your own self-awareness. If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.”
12. “Love is of all the passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart, and the senses.”
13. “He who defends with love will be secure; Heaven will save him, and protect him with love.”
14. “The master observes the world but trusts his inner vision. He allows things to come and go. He prefers what is within to what is without.”
15. “He is free from self- display, and therefore he shines;”
16. “Be like water.”