The Tao, Chapter 78
Water is the softest and most yielding substance.
Yet nothing is better than water,
for overcoming the hard and rigid,
because nothing can compete with it.
Everyone knows that the soft and yielding
overcomes the rigid and hard,
but few can put this knowledge into practice.
Therefore the Master says:
“Only he who is the lowest servant of the kingdom,
is worthy to become its ruler.
He who is willing tackle the most unpleasant tasks,
is the best ruler in the world.”
True sayings seem contradictory.
— Translated by J. H. McDonald