A person at birth is yielding and weak, but at death they are still and unyielding. The grass and trees when growing are tender and delicate, but when dying are brittle and dry.
The stiff and unyielding are the companions of death, while the yielding and tender are the companions of life.
Therefore we see that unbending armies cannot conquer, and the strongest tree feels the ax.
The mighty will fall down low, but the humble will rise up.
(from Tao Te Ching, verse 76, translation by Robert Brookes)