The legendary Chinese sage Laozi (Lao Tzu), said to have lived for almost a thousand years and to be a founder of Daoism, is usually said to have been a contemporary of Confucius and to be the author of the Tao te Ching. Here are a few quotations attributed to this legendary figure.

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.

— Laozi (Lao Tzu)

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

— Laozi (Lao Tzu)

If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.

If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.

If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbors.

If there is to be peace between neighbors,
There must be peace in the home.

If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart.

— Laozi (Lao Tzu)

Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.

— Laozi (Lao Tzu)

Those who know are wise. Those who know themselves are enlightened.

— Laozi (Lao Tzu)

The highest excellence is like water. The excellence of water appears in its benefiting all things, and in its occupying, without striving, the low place which all men dislike.

— Laozi (Lao Tzu)

When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.

— Laozi (Lao Tzu)

The power of intuitive understanding will protect you from harm until the end of your days.

— Laozi (Lao Tzu)

In this world, there is nothing softer or thinner than water. But to compel the hard and unyielding, it has no equal. That the weak overcomes the strong, that the hard gives way to the gentle — this everyone knows. Yet no one acts accordingly.

— Laozi (Lao Tzu)

Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.

— Laozi (Lao Tzu)

Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.

— Laozi (Lao Tzu)

Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.

— Laozi (Lao Tzu)

Throw away sacredness and wisdom, and people will be one hundred times happier.

— Laozi (Lao Tzu)

Your actions are your only possessions.

— Laozi (Lao Tzu)

To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.

— Laozi (Lao Tzu)

Returning to the source is stillness, which is the way of nature. The way of nature is unchanging. Knowing constancy is insight.

— Laozi (Lao Tzu)

When people see some things as beautiful,
other things become ugly.
When people see some things as good,
other things become bad.

— Laozi (Lao Tzu), Tao Te Ching

At the center of your being, you have the answer; you know who you are, and you know what you want.

— Laozi (Lao Tzu)

How do I become still? By flowing with the stream.

— Laozi (Lao Tzu)

Go to the people. Live with them. Learn from them. Love them. Start with what they know. Build with what they have. But with the best leaders, when the work is done, the task accomplished, the people will say, ‘We have done this ourselves.’

— Laozi (Lao Tzu)

Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.

— Laozi (Lao Tzu), T’ai Shang Kan Ying P’ien

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 negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.

— Laozi (Lao Tzu)

The tallest tree begins as a tiny sprout. The tallest building starts with one shovel of dirt. A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single footstep.

— Laozi (Lao Tzu), Tao Te Ching
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