STRENGTH

If you close your mind in judgments

and traffic with desires,

your heart will be troubled.

If you keep your mind from judging

and aren't led by the senses,

your heart will find peace.

Seeing into darkness is clarity.

Knowing how to yield is strength.

Use your own light,

and return to the source of light.

This is called practicing eternity.

- Lao Tzu


As a litigator, knowing both how and when to yield - whether to a judge or opposing counsel - is strength. Barreling headfirst on the thrust of self-will is usually a mistake; one should always consider the waves one creates whilst self-propelling. Working with the current should be the rule, not the exception. The exception should be the exception, not the rule.

In terms of Tao, an attorney should know the Yang, but stick to the Yin; i.e., in an attorney's dealings with colleagues and clients, he should know how to use force, but usually refrain from employing it. This prevents trouble before it begins, and unfettered self-will can create a lot of trouble. Life isn't a battle unless one decides to make it one. Peacefulness, receptivity and compassion - or Yin - is the rule; aggression, self-will and, sometimes, even ruthlessness - or Yang - is the exception . . . always the exception.

- M. Chappell