The Book of the Right Way of Laozi – 76.

76

Human beings are born flexible and vulnerable
But when they die they become inflexible and rigid.
The grasses and the trees are also born flexible,
But when they die they dry up and distintegrate.
Therefore, he whose strength is unyielding  is the disciple of death,
But he who is adaptable is the disciple of life.
Truly, it is a rule that the strong army destroys itself.
It is a rule that the tree that cannot bend, snaps.
Superior power is subject to decline.
The flexible and adaptable prosper.

 
人之生也柔弱,其死也堅強。萬物草木之生也柔脆,其死也枯槁。故堅強者死之徒,柔弱者生之徒。是以兵強則不勝,木強則共。強大處下,柔弱處上。

 

1 man it born also soft weak
2 it die also unyielding strength
3 grass tree also born soft clear and crisp
4 it die also dried up rotten
5 therefore unyielding strength person die it disciple
6 soft weak person life it disciple
7 truly because army strength rule extinguish
8 tree strength yet broken
9 strength big lives downwards
10 soft weak lives climb

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