It is the weakness of water that makes it strong
Water is weak, but it is its weakness that makes it strong.
What happens when water encounters resistance? It breaks out! So when you put your hands in water, it runs through your hands without causing any harm.
So water is yielding, and you may call this weak.
Water, nevertheless, can also be devastatingly powerful! It can penetrate things as hard as rocks.
What makes water so powerful, paradoxically, is exactly what makes it so weak.
Just imagine if water was as hard as rock! When two rocks crashes, chances are one of them would be crushed or both would crumple. In all cases, it would not have allowed a chance for water to do what it does – to wash away the rock slowly, and shape it into canyon and cave.
In fact, it is exactly because water is yielding that it is allowed the space for it to stay close to rock, and asserts its impact minute my minute without resistance from the substance many, many time harder than it is.
It is the weakness of water that makes it strong!
The softest thing on the universe
Overcomes the hardest thing in the universe.
That without substance can enter where there is no room.
Hence I know the value of non-action.
Teaching without words and work without doing
Are understood by very few.
Translation by Gia-fu Feng and Jane English
Thanks to Quinn Dombrowski for the picture