Being soft is a characteristic of human world only. It is pleasing to the touch of those who press as it gives in to the pressure. Being hard hurts both. Being flexible irritates the one who pressures and helps stay untouched to the one who flexes to go around.
Softness is typically considered a positive quality, except the cases where hardness is more appreciated.
I find neither soft nor hard worth of striving for. The two are the extremes on the two ends of the axis that keeps us together as one whole. The perfect average between them is what really makes sense in my life now – because I am learning the hard way how being soft is the tough way to go.
Some may think being soft equals relaxation. I used to think that way until I found out how much effort I actually give into it – and for no use. Because being soft and giving in to things means being scared to find options to avoid the undesirable contact altogether, and the collision makes one bend and take in the pressure instead of going around it.
The basis of Wing Chun principles is not to fight force with force. Being soft is the same as being hard – and it is only now that I see it for what it is. Being hard means getting all tense and tough to impress, to scare away – in other words, to create an illusion that should ward off unnecessary action from an opponent. Being soft means creating another kind of untruthful image – I am white and fluffy, don’t you want to stop bending me down?
Anyone who is being bent down allows him or herself to do so. And choosing options in this case should be changed absolutely, to the roots – one has to think of options to get around the situation instead of breaking through it and hoping not to lose blood, sweat and tears.
Being soft is as serious as being stern. Just as swearwords are in essence the same as highly intellectual talks – especially if it is one person speaking this. The only thing that differs is – balance.
So here it is – we are either in balance or figuring out the soft-and-hard ways.
How it came to be that we have this choice – who knows. The relieving news is that we do have the choice.
We just have to find what balance is and keep it. Balancing between the soft and the hard is the ultimate skill of self-control first and self-management after all. Because controlling oneself means getting into the current situation and realizing what is actually going on – in other words, giving up all illusions and seeing things for what they really are. Managing oneself is one more step up – it is ruling both oneself and the situation one is in. And being in balance is also the key quality in directing own energy in the best possible way. No less and no more – just as much as needed and wanted.