a poem for service designers

This is a translation of a poem that was written by Lao Tse three thousand years ago. There are 27 known different translations of this, because the meanings from that long ago are very fluid. This version has been used as inspiration for community workers since the nineteen fifties.

Picture 1

Go to the People;
Live among them;
Love them; Learn from them;
Start from where they are;
Work with them; Build on what they have.
But of the best leaders, When the task is accomplished,
The work completed, The people all remark: “We have done it ourselves”

Lao Tsu

*image from zenga’s photostream