17th March 2023 3 min read
I live in Bruce Lee’s era.
Bruce Lee said, “ Water is formless, shapeless. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, in a bottle, it becomes a bottle, be like water.”
I did not understand what he meant until I studied the traits of water. Then I realized that water is a remarkable element we could apply to our lives.
Water is soft yet hard. When exposed to extremely cold weather, water becomes ice. Even an axe may not crack it but would craze it many times before it shatters.
It can round the edges of rock as it flows around them and persistent dripping water can perforate a stone.
Be like water, unyielding in times of hardship, strong in sorrow, and persistent in challenges.
Water is changeable. When. exposed to extreme heat, it vaporizes. Try to contain the steam and it turns back to the water.
Be like water, flexible, adaptable, and versatile. Many times, we think we hit a wall but when you think like water, you will find many ways to get around it.
Water is all-encompassing. It flows through the rocks into crevices without seemingly any obstruction. It moves smoothly without hesitation yet it will reach its final destination which is the ocean.
Be like water, inclusive, tolerant, and forgiving.
It means to try not to get into any disputes but circumvent them. This leaves one more time and energy to pursue our goals.
There were many instances in which I could apply this philosophy。
Recently I tried to live like water when I went skiing. It was my first time on the intermediate slopes at the behest of the coach who believed in me. As he glided down the steep gradient, I watched him with trepidation. There was no choice but to follow as he became distant.
I told myself to be like water… Go with the flow – -fluid, flexible, and calm like a trickling brook that traverses over the pebbles and rocks. Slow and steady, the snow suddenly became agreeable to me.
After we got to the base, he insisted that I try again which I resisted. Then I remembered the persistence of the dripping water on the rock. I tried the slopes again and many more times and it did pay off.
I was able to experience what it was like on intermediate slopes, learned to control my movements, at the same time, viewed Mount Yotei from a higher perspective.
Recently, I lived like water again when I encountered an irate patient who did not understand her challenging bone situation. She was not able to wear dentures for 20 years.
By taking a compassionate stand, I became like water and filled up her metaphorical cup. Then I understood how she felt being not able to eat which was her most basic need. Like flowing water, there was no need to compel her to my views and argue. Like Stillwater, I listened.
Together, we worked with the laboratory towards a feasible solution and she also began to accept her limitations and learned to adapt to her new dentures.
Finally, water is purification. No matter how dirty a place or object is, water cleanses it. It means to be pure and kind always and you will receive peace in return.
Live like water.
Be unyielding in some circumstances. Flexible in some and all-encompassing and kind.
These days, nobody can make me angry, anxious, or unhappy because I live like water.