"Leaders make the knowledge of the community their knowledge, they make the minds of the community their mind. They are always wary of failing to comprehend the feelings of even one person, or failing to understand the principle of even one thing.
Leaders should seek only what is good, diligently striving to seek and take advice. They should question right and wrong in principle regardless of whether the matter is great or small. If the principle is right, even thought it involves great expense to carry it out, what is the harm? If the thing is wrong, even though it is a small measure to get rid of it, what is the loss?
The small is a step of the great, the subtle is a sprout of the obvious. This is why the wise are careful of the beginning, sages are mindful of warnings. Even dripping water, if it does not stop, can ultimately turn a mulberry orchard into a lake. A flame, if not removed, will ultimately burn a meadow.
When the water is streaming and the fire is raging, the disaster is already happening--even if you want to help, there is no way. Of old it has been said, 'If you are not careful about minor actions, ultimately they will encumber great virtue.' This is what is meant here."