“If a man is crossing a river and an empty boat collides with his own skiff, even though he be a bad-tempered man he will not become very angry. But if he sees a man in the boat, he will shout at him to steer clear. If the shout is not heard, he will shout again, and yet again, and begin cursing.
And all because there is somebody in the boat. Yet if the boat were empty, he would not be shouting, and not angry. If you can empty your own boat crossing the river of the world, no one will oppose you, no one will seek to harm you…. Who can free himself from achievement, and from fame, descend and be lost amid the masses of men?
He will flow like Tao, unseen, he will go about like Life itself with no name and no home. Simple is he, without distinction. To all appearances he is a fool. His steps leave no trace. He has no power. He achieves nothing, has no reputation. Since he judges no one, no one judges him. Such is the perfect man: His boat is empty.”