July 31st, 2010

Chapter 78

Water is the softest and meekest thing in the world.
Yet it is best able to overcome that which is strong and solid.
This is the truth and cannot be changed.
"The meek suppresses the solid, the soft suppresses the strong."
All the people in the world know this,
Yet they cannot apply it to their lives.
Therefore, the wise says:
"Those who can accept the blame for the entire nation
Will be the leaders of the nation..
Those who can endure the evil omens of the world
Will be the kings of the world."
Right expression is similar to its reversal.

Translated by Chang Chung-yuan, 1975.


Under heaven nothing is more soft and yielding than water.
Yet for attacking the solid and strong, nothing is better;
It has no equal.
The weak can overcome the strong;
The supple can overcome the stiff.
Under heaven everyone knows this,
Yet no one puts it into practice.
Therefore the sage says:
He who takes upon himself the humiliation of the people is fit to rule them.
He who takes upon himself the country's disasters deserves to be king of the universe.
The truth often sounds paradoxical.
Nothing is softer
or more yielding
than water.
Yet, given time,
it can erode even the hardest stone.
That's how the weak
can defeat the strong,
and the supple
can win out over the stiff.

Everybody knows it.
So why don't we apply it to our own lives?

Lao Tzu used to say:
"Take on people's problems,
and you can be their leader.
Deal with the world's problems,
and you'll be a Master."

Sometimes the truth makes no sense.

The first version is from the Fortune files. The second version is the Beatrice Tao.