Teeth vs. Tongue — The Hard vs. the Soft

Legend has it that when Lao Tzu (or, Lao Zi) was fifteen, he worshipped a man named Chang Cong as his teacher.

Later, the teacher became seriously ill. Lao Tzu went to visit him, but couldn’t forget to ask for more teaching. And here came a conversation between them like this:

Lao Tzu said respectfully: “Teacher, you are so ill, what else can you tell your disciple?”

Chang said, “Even if you don’t ask, I have something to tell you.”

Then Chang opened his mouth and asked Lao Tzu to look into it and asked, “Is my tongue still there?”

Lao Tzu replied: “Yes.”

Chang asked again, “Are my teeth still there?”

Lao Tzu replied: “They are all gone!”

Chang asked again: “Do you understand what I want to tell you?”

Lao Tzu said: “The tongue exists because it is soft! Isn’t it because teeth are hard that they have all fallen out?”

Chang said with satisfaction, “Hey! The world’s rules are all in it. You’ve got it, and I have nothing to teach you anymore!

“Tao Te Ching/Lao Tzu” – Chapter 43: 天下之至柔,驰骋天下之至坚.

Water is the softest and weakest while benefiting and embracing the whole world, but how can it be defeated? The sharpest knife can take lives, cut steel, but never able to cut water apart.

Stones are strong, but consistent drops of water wear holes in the stone. The tide rises and falls, the stones become the pebbles.

Steel against steel, the result has to be lose-lose. While the fast-moving wheels need to break down, we use very soft brake pads.

In daily life and #business, the #principle is the same: #Perseverance leads to #success, as it enables the practice in achieving a huge return on a very small investment; a big payoff from a small effort.

Human hearts could be our softest gifts from the universe. And those who win the hearts of the people win the world.

#chineseculture #ancientwisdom #unity #authenticity #love #hearts #kindness #businesssuccess #strategy

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