Tao Te Ching
by LAO TSU
Translation by Gia Fu Feng


Seventy-Eight

Under heaven nothing is more soft and yielding than water.
Yet for attacking the solid and strong, nothing is better;
It has no equal.
The weak can overcome the strong;
The supple can overcome the stiff.
Under heaven, everyone knows this,
Yet no one puts it into practice.
Therefore the sage says:
   He who takes on the humiliation of the people
        is fit to rule them.
   He who takes upon himself the country's disasters deserves
        to be king of the universe.
The truth often sounds paradoxical.