All streams flow to the sea
because it lies below them.
Humility gives it its power.
If you want to govern the people,
you must place yourself below them.
If you want to lead the people,
you must learn to follow them.
The people will not feel burdened
if a wise person is in a position of power.
The people will not feel manipulated
if a wise person is in front as their leader.
The whole world will be grateful to her.
Because she competes with no one,
no one can compete with her.
Humility is a quality that is essential in any great leader.
Unfortunately, such is the nature of the human ego, the moment someone assumes a position of power, that person runs the risk of assuming an attitude of superiority. Abuse of power by inflated egos is all too common a problem, not just in government, but in every institution and in every walk of life.
The wise leader does not try to elevate herself above anyone. She retains her humility and simply does what needs to be done without fuss or fanfare. Thus does she retain her integrity as a living embodiment of the Tao.