Prevent Great Deeds

I’ve been thinking about a Taoist principle lately…

Conflict is costly and destructive… Which is better- a man who gains victory in conflict, or the peacemaker who calms a conflict before it becomes heated? … Which is better – such a peacemaker, or the man who abandons a selfish want or ambition so that contention is never given spark?

A great tree can grow from a seed… Which is better – the man who cuts down a great tree that stands in the way, or the one who transplants the tree to a more suitable location? … Which is better – the man who transplants the great tree, or the man who ensures the seed is planted in the right place to begin with?

Addiction will ruin a person’s life and bring them to their knees… Which is better – the therapist who cures a person of addiction, or the police officer who imprisons the drug dealer who sells the drugs? … Which is better – the police officer who stops the flow of drugs, or one who listens and cares for a troubled youth, preventing them from seeking drugs or crime as a solution?

I see that when there are great deeds, it is because there is a dysfunction somewhere. If there are no great deeds, everything has returned to the Way.