Was this really by Lao Tzu?
Victor Mair posting at Language Log explains that many so-called "Chinese" quotes are just phony Orientalisms, and have nothing to do with actual quotes from Confucius, Lao Zi, or other real Chinese people or books. As one of his colleagues says:
"I’d bet that most of what 20th-century Anglophones learned as "Confucius say" were actually from Hollywood scriptwriters doing Charlie Chan movies."
I’ve found that not only is this true about translated quotes, but about many more quotes than you’d think. Many quotations in books or online are attributed without any sources, and if you do the research, you find that nobody really knows if certain people said something or not.
I guess it’s okay to deceive us with these quotes because dead people can’t sue.
I’ll leave you with this quote from a wise Chinese sage:
"Confucius say: ‘He who cooks carrots and peas in the same pot is unsanitary.’"
False Quotations and Fake Translations, Language Log>>