A living man is soft and supple;
a dead man becomes stiff and rigid.
A living program is flexible and adaptable;
a dead program becomes fragile and brittle.

Thus, the stiff and the rigid are the companions of death,
and the soft and the supple are the companions of life.

If the sword is inflexible, it will break;
if the oak is mighty, it will fall to the storm.

Thus, the rigid and the great will lie low,
and the soft and the flexible will rise above them.


chapter notes:

As usual, I have translated the generic “things” into “programs”. I have also reused the proverb of the oak and the reed — creating a connection not explicit in the original.