Of all gentleness and submissiveness in the world
Nothing compares to water,
And to tackle stiffness and toughness there is nothing better,
There is no easier substitution.
Be submissive to overcome dominance,
Be gentle to overcome toughness,
There is none in the world who knows not,
There is none who can follow.
Therefore the master says,
"Accepting the nation's shame, is being stately;
Accepting the nation's adversities, is being majestic."
Righteous words seem contradictory.
Tao Te Ching, collaborative Wikisource translation, verse 78.