I’ve always rather liked Chapter LXXVIII. It is like a science lesson and philosophy all rolled into one. I’m still not sure how to put this into practice though. I find that being soft and nice usually does not get you what you want. Or maybe it does most of the time. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve tried to be nicer to people I need something from, and occasionally someone takes advantage of that niceness to really do nothing and just help themselves. Then, I feel like being a rock is preferable to being water.
Nothing in the world
is as soft and yielding as water.
Yet for dissolving the hard and inflexible,
nothing can surpass it.
The soft overcomes the hard;
the gentle overcomes the rigid.
Everyone knows this is true,
but few can put it into practice.
Therefore the Master remains
serene in the midst of sorrow.
Evil cannot enter his heart.
Because he has given up helping,
he is people’s greatest help.
True words seem paradoxical.