In this world there is nothing more yielding than water,
yet attack it with strength and you cannot conquer it.
In all the world, there is no substitute.
The flexible surpasses the inflexible,
the soft overcomes the hard.
There is no one that does not know this,
but there are few who can put it into practice.
Therefore the wise person says:
He who can suffer his nation’s faults
is to be known as its leader.
He who can bear his nation’s disasters
deserves to be leader of the world.
Do these words seem paradoxical?
-Lao-tzu- (Tao Te Ching, verse 78, interpretation by Robert Brookes)