The highest virtue is to be like water (the big dao of Taiji).
"The highest virtue is like water, benefitting all things, contending with none, and is content with what others disdain. It is therefore closest to the dao"
Water possesses these virtues:
It flows unceasingly and benefits all living things; therefore it is virtuous.
Always flowing downwards, whatever its shape it is formed without going against the rule of nature; therefore it is righteous.
It is vast and has no limits; therefore it has dao.
It travels without fear into challenging terrains; therefore it is courageous.
It remains level and settled wherever it lies; therefore it is constant.
It is as you see it, with neither embellishment nor detraction; therefore it has integrity.
There is no opening it does not enter; therefore it is perceptive.
It finds its way to its destination; therefore it is tenacious.
It adapts and adjusts continuously according to its situation and environment; therefore it has changeability.
These are the characteristics of water, seemingly harmless but has the potential for great damage; seemingly weak but latently powerful.
It is an ally to everyone, and yields unnoticeable benefits on everything around it. It is a formidable foe, and destroys everything in its path.
This is the nature of water. People who study the internal martial arts need to understand the big dao...