A man is born gentle and pliant.

At his death he is hard and stiff.

Green plants are tender and filled with sap.

At their death they are brittle and dry.

 

Therefore the stiff and unbending is the disciple of death.

The gentle and yielding is the disciple of life.

 

An inflexible force meets with defeat.

A tree that is unbending is easily broken.

 

The hard and rigid will fall.

The soft and supple will overcome.

-Lao Tzu