In Chinese culture, bamboo is a popular symbol of flexibility and long life.
This chapter of the Tao explains why these two ideas are connected.
76 - Rigid behaviour will kill you
When alive, the body is supple, yielding.
In death, the body becomes hard, unyielding.
Living plants are flexible,
In death, they become dry and brittle.
Therefore, stubborn people are disciples of death, but
Flexible people are disciples of life.
In the same way,
Inflexible soldiers cannot win (a victory).
And the hardest trees are readiest for an axe to chop them down
Tough guys sink to the bottom, while
Flexible people rise to the top.
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