A missing aphorism about bending/bowing/something.
February 15, 2018 4:37 AM   Subscribe

I've half-forgotten a maxim of the form "X bends/bows/comes to Y; Y does not bend/bow/come to X." I'm pretty sure one half is usually not said, only implied. It means something like, depending on level of cynicism and accuracy of my memory, "you gotta make your own way and make an effort", "you're a small fry in this context so get used to it" or "you're dealing with a force of nature here". Any thoughts?
posted by flibbertigibbet to Grab Bag (3 answers total)
"If the mountain will not come to Mohammed, Mohammed must go to the mountain" ?
posted by correcaminos at 4:42 AM on February 15, 2018 [9 favorites]

There's also the Aesop's Fable The Oak and the Reed
posted by pipeski at 4:59 AM on February 15, 2018

There's a Chinese chungyu to the effect of "be like the buckwheat that bends with the winds of change, and not the wheat which snaps." But that's pretty obscure, generally referring more to not getting swept up in the local political climate and probably not what you were thinking of.
posted by eglenner at 11:59 PM on February 15, 2018

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