06 June 2011

Seventy-Six

A man is born supple and soft.
At death, he is rigid and hard.
The ten thousand things, the grass, the trees,
while living are tender and pliant.
In death, they are dry and withered.

The hard and unbending are companions of death.
The soft and yielding are companions of life.

Thus, an inflexible army is easily defeated.
An unbending tree is easily broken.

The hard and strong are laid low.
The soft and yielding are raised up.