When man is born, he is tender and weak; at death, he is hard and stiff. When things and plants are alive, they are soft and supple; when they are dead, they are brittle and dry. Therefore hardness and stiffness are the companions of death, and softness and gentleness are the companions of life.
Therefore when an army is headstrong, it will lose in the battle. When a tree is hard it will be cut down. The big and strong belong underneath. The gentle and weak belong at the top. - Lao Tzu