The very highest is barely known.
Then comes that which people know and love,
Then that which is feared,
Then that which is despised.
Who does not trust enough will not be trusted.
When actions are performed
Without unnecessary speech,
People say, "We did it!"
are hardly known to their followers.
Next after them are the leaders
the people know and admire;
after them, those they fear;
after them, those they despise.
To give no trust
is to get no trust.
When the work's done right,
with no fuss or boasting,
ordinary people say,
Oh, we did it.
The best rulers are scarcely known by their subjects;
The next best are loved and praised;
The next are feared;
The next despised:
They have no faith in their people,
And their people become unfaithful to them.
When the best rulers achieve their purpose
Their subjects claim the achievement as their own.
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