- The Borg from Star Trek: The Next Generation
One of the basic - and most helpful - lessons I've taken from the Tao Te Ching is the concept of adapting. To go with the flow. To bend with the wind. To move with the groove.
Walking through the woods after a bad storm teaches a quick lesson in the futility of resistance. Even the mightiest tree can not always stand up to the forces of nature. Old trees are rigid and don't sway with the wind. Their branches snap off. Young trees, on the other hand, are soft and flexible. They move with the forces that blow against them. And when the winds stop, they are able to bounce back.
You can't stop change. You can't keep bad things from happening in your life. So what can you do? Simply bend with it.
Stop wasting your energy resisting every force that blows against you. Be flexible and move with it, using the force of the negative energy to steer it away (the martial arts use this concept very effectively).
When a strong wind blows at you, don't stand tall and firm and proud, taking the blow full force. You'll only wind up on your back. Instead, lean into the wind or turn away from it. By doing this, you're not letting the wind "win," you're letting it pass so you can continue on your journey.
Taking a force head on gives you the least control. Yielding puts you in the best position to stay on your feet and have the most control (of course, you can't really control it - but you can influence it).
Or as Kris Kristofferson put it: "You don't paddle against the current, you paddle with it. And if you get good at it, you throw away the oars."
Return is the movement of the Tao.
Yielding is the way of the Tao. (v. 40)