Seventy-Eight

Water is the softest and most yielding

substance and nothing is better

for overcoming the strong and solid.

It has no equal.


Everyone knows

the soft overcomes

the hard,

yet no one puts it

into practice.


Therefore the wise ones see serenity

where others see affliction.

Evil cannot sway them

because they acknowledge it

within themselves.


Because they have given up helping,

they are the people's greatest help.


The truth often sounds strange.