The oak and the reeds

oak tree water stars

Hi everyone

There are times in life when being strong is good. For opening jars with tight lids, carrying heavy grocery bags from the car, and standing up for our beliefs. Being resilient when things don’t go our way is admirable, and not letting people push us around is important for self-esteem.

However, it’s also helpful to know when we need to bend and be flexible, pull back and give way. Choosing which battles to fight and which ones to walk away from is a wise lesson to learn in life.

Here’s a well-known fable from Aesop that illustrates this idea:

An oak that grew on the bank of a river was uprooted by a severe gale of wind, and thrown across the stream.
It fell among some reeds growing by the water, and said to them, ‘How is it that you, who are so frail and slender, have managed to weather the storm, whereas I, with all my strength, have been torn up by the roots and hurled into the river?’

‘You were stubborn,’ came the reply, ‘and fought against the storm, which proved stronger than you: but we bow and yield to every breeze, and thus the gale passed harmlessly over our heads.’

The moral of the story:

Sometimes it’s wiser to be flexible in the face of life’s challenges than stubbornly resisting and refusing to yield when it’s the better choice.

Take care and be kind to each other

Janine

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