61. Heaven Permits the Fulfillment of People’s Desires

六一、民之所欲 天必從之

1 In religious terms, the so-called heavenly mandate means the public’s will, and it has the same meaning in the Book [one of the Chinese classics]: “God’s view is actually the people’s view. God’s opinion is actually the people’s opinion.” In modern language, it means meeting the needs of the times and meeting the requirements of public opinion.

1 宗教上所謂的天命,即是民意,也是中國《書經》上的「天視自我民視,天聽自我民聽」的意義。以現代語來說,就是順應時代的需要,合乎人心一致的要求。

2 Those who can meet the needs of the people can win the hearts of the people. Those who are loved by the people are virtuous persons. They can receive heavenly mandate, get elected to an office, and live a long life. Therefore, heaven’s heart is the people’s heart and heaven’s opinion is the people’s opinion. In other words, “heaven allows things that people desire to take place.”

2 凡能順民之所欲,即可獲得人民的愛戴。凡得人民之愛戴者即為有德之人,可以承受天命,必得其位,必享大壽。因之,天心即民心,天意即民意,「民之所欲,天必從之」。

A Letter to Mr. Deng Xiaoping, January 15, 1991