” It is a strange thing, I think, how it is men in the West do not realize how much softness is strength. One of old Lao-tzu’s favorite analogies was water. He spoke of water as the weakest of all things in the world,and yet there is nothing to be compared with it in overcoming what is hard and strong. You can cut water with a knife and it lets the knife go right through, yet water alone cut the Grand Canyon out of solid rock.
Lao-tzu also said that while being a man, one should retain a certain essential feminine element, and that he who does this will become a channel for the whole world. The ideal of the hundred-percent tough guy, the rigid, the rugged fellow with muscles like steel, is really a model of weakness. We probably assume this sort of tough exterior will work as a hard shell to protect ourselves- but so much of what we fear from the outside gets to us because we fear our own weakness on the inside.
[…] And so you can always be sure that when a man pretends to be 100 percent male on the outside, he is in doubt of his manhood somewhere on the inside. If he can allow himself to be weak, he can allow himself to experience what is really his greatest strength. This is so not only of human beings, but of all living things.
Watts, Alan. “The Strength of Weakness.” What Is Tao? N.p.: New World Library, 2001. N. pag. Print.