Tao Te Ching Verse 76

One of my all time favorite verses:

When born, humans are supple and yielding;

in death, they turn hard and rigid.

All things, when living, are soft and pliable;

and dead, dry and brittle.


Therefore to be stiff and unbending is the way of death,

and to be supple and yielding is the way of life.


An army that cannot yield will be defeated.

A tree that cannot bend will crack in the wind.


Thus by nature’s own decree:

the hard and stiff will be laid low,

and the soft and gentle will rise up.