"That which is well established cannot be uprooted
That which is strongly held cannot be taken
The descendants will commemorate it forever

"Cultivate it in yourself; its virtue shall be true
Cultivate it in the family; its virtue shall be abundant
Cultivate it in the community; its virtue shall be lasting
Cultivate it in the country; its virtue shall be prosperous
Cultivate it in the world; its virtue shall be widespread

"Therefore observe others with yourself
Observe other families with your family
Observe other communities with your community
Observe other countries with your country
Observe the world with the world
With what do I know the world?
With this

"This chapter is about the permanence and strength of spirituality. If you plant the tree of wisdom deeply in the heart, it can never be uprooted. If you hold on to the virtues within, they can never be wrested away.

"The material world is transient and impermanent. Anything physical, no matter how firmly grasped, can be taken from you. A fortress, no matter how strongly built, can be destroyed. Concepts, on the other hand, are not vulnerable to destruction. For instance, if a temple were demolished, the people could simply rebuild, because the idea still lives in their hearts. This single idea can manifest physical reality countless times. As long as there are people around who pass it on to others, the concept will remain eternally indestructible.

"There are people who study the Tao for years and see no significant improvements in their lives. There are also those who walk the path for a relatively short time and yet experience dramatic and profound transformation. What accounts for the drastic difference?

"The answer is cultivation. The Tao isn't just something to read or talk about; it is something to put into actual practice. Those who see the Tao only as a philosophy continue to live their lives as they always have, so nothing ever changes.

"Tao cultivators see the Tao as a way of life. We are not content merely to play with ideas. We test the Tao by applying it to life. When we start seeing results in ourselves, we apply it to the family. When we have the loving and happy home we want, we extend the Tao into the community. Others see our happiness and become curious. Slowly but surely, we see the transformation of the Tao rippling outward."