78.1 Nothing in the world is more flexible
and yielding than water
Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong,
none can withstand it,
because they have no way to change it.
78.2 So the flexible overcomes the adamant,
the yielding overcome the forceful.
Everyone knows this,
but no one can do it.
78.3 This is why the sages say
those who can take on the disgrace of nations
are leaders of lands;
and those who can take on the misfortune of nations
are rulers of the world.
True sayings seem paradoxical.
Tao Teh Ching - Cleary Translation
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