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Be like water

One day before my bus would leave, I went for a stroll in the park. I followed the path, and then it stopped. There used to be a tiny bridge over a brook, but now only remnants of concrete pillars remained.

I stood there, observing the water flowing past me. I was reminded of a passage from Striking Thoughts by Bruce Lee.

Adapt like water. — Be like water; water has form and yet it has no form. It is the softest element on earth, yet it penetrates the hardest rock. It has no shape of its own, yet it can take any shape in which it is placed. In a cup, it becomes the shape of the cup. In a vase, it takes the shape of the vase and curls about the stems of flowers. Put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Please observe the adaptability of water. If you squeeze it fast, the water will flow out quickly. If you squeeze it slowly, it will come out slowly. Water may seem to move in contradiction, even uphill, but it chooses any way open to it so that it may reach the sea. It may flow swiftly or it may flow slowly, but its purpose is inexorable, its destiny sure.

Fluid, flowing, never stopping.

Water changes it’s form according to its container, so too I need to be flexible, adaptable.

Water is patient, persevering, so too I need to be patient and persevering.

Water can change its direction. If it can’t go straight, it goes around. So too, if my way of thinking lead nowhere, then I need to change my direction and find a different way.

Water flows forward. Sometimes fast, sometimes slow, but ever forward. So too, no matter the the pace of life, I will move forward.

Water gives strength to all living things. So too, I want to give strength to others.

This I thought, staring at the brook burbling about.

It’s a simple and powerful metaphor.

Be water like.