TAO TE CHNG 76

carp

When a man is born

He is soft and tender

When he dies

He is rigid and stiff

 

Whilst alive

The ten thousand

Grasses and trees

Are yielding and supple

But in death

Are withered and brittle

 

Therefore, unyielding rigidity

Is the companion of death

Tender gentleness

Is the companion of life

 

So we see that

Unbending fighters cannot conquer

The strongest trees get cut down

 

Unyielding might

Is where the inferior rest

But gentle flexibility

Is where the superior rest

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