Go to the people. Live with
them. Learn from them.
Start with what they know.
Build with what they have.
But with the best leaders,
when the work is done,
the task accomplished, the
people will say
“We have done this
Lao Tzu (600 – 531 BC)
Chinese Taoist philosopher
Go to the fucking people? That's not what the sage does. In Legge,
In the highest antiquity, (the people) did not know that there
were (their rulers). In the next age they loved them and praised
them. In the next they feared them; in the next they despised them.
Thus it was that when faith (in the Tao) was deficient (in the rulers)
a want of faith in them ensued (in the people).
How irresolute did those (earliest rulers) appear, showing (by
their reticence) the importance which they set upon their words!
Their work was done and their undertakings were successful, while the
people all said, 'We are as we are, of ourselves!'
which softened slightly comes out as
The best leaders go unnoticed by the people.
The next best are loved and praised by the people.
Then there are those who are feared by the people.
Lastly there are those who are despised.
When the leaders lack faith, then the people lack faith in them.
The best leaders make their words valuable and precious. Their work is done, and their undertakings successful, while the people say, "We are as we are, of ourselves!"
The point is that the sage has moved the people to the correct path by his reserved inaction, by the Tao - the people didn't do it themselves, they are just under the illusion that they did it themselves.
And that crap about learning from the people? No way. Loving the people? In the original, the love goes the other way.
It's worse than "Confucius say" jokes.