What is the meaning and function of 使 in the following?
道 means 導, meaning "to lead" or "to guide," but how does it combine with 使, meaning "to cause"?
the origin is 左傳 襄公三十一年:
the punctuation of the above text is, imo, doubtful :(
anyway, the metaphor is:
people's animosity (民怨) is like water flow
a ruler can built a dam to store water, and stop the flow. but, over times, water would overflow, destroy the dam.
so, 子產's method to handle people's animosity is: don't stop it, let small amount of water flow daily; in which no water would collected large enough to destroy the dam.
dam burst (大決) . . .
it would be better to (不如) [let] small amount of (小) [water] flow (決) [pass the dam], as (使) dredge (道 --> 疏導).
it would be better to (不如) [let] me (吾) hear (聞) [people's critic (以論執政) at the school (于鄉校)], and (而) [using such critics] as medicine (藥) to cure the governing (之).
depends on the style of writing, one might interpret "使" differently.
have fun :)