Weapons are the tools of violence;
All decent men detest them.
Weapons are the tools of fear:
A decent man will avoid them
Except in the direst necessity
And, if compelled, will use them
only with the utmost restraint.
Peace is the highest value.
If the peace has been shattered,
how can he be content?
His enemies are not demons,
but human beings like himself.
He doesn’t wish them personal harm.
Nor does he rejoice in victory.
How could he rejoice in victory
And delight in the slaughter of men?
He enters a battle gravely,
With sorrow and great compassion,
As if he were attending a funeral.
From the “Tao Te Ching” translated by Stephen Mitchell