The living are soft and supple;
the dead are rigid and stiff.
In life, plants are flexible and tender;
in death, they are brittle and dry.
Stiffness is thus a companion of death;
flexibility a companion of life.
An army that cannot yield
will be defeated.
A tree that cannot bend
will crack in the wind.
The hard and stiff will be broken.
The soft and supple will prevail.