The Oak and the Reed (Fitzwilliam Museum)

The Oak and the Reed (Fitzwilliam Museum) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of Aesop’s best known fables is the story about an oak tree and a reed.

When the wind blew, the oak stood firm whilst the reed was bent.

The oak laughed at the reed’s weakness, mocking it for its apparent lack of strength.

When the wind increased in power, the oak was blown over, whilst the reed was bent, but unharmed.

As the oak looked around with surprise, he remarked to the reed, “I am tall and strong, but you are small and slender, how did the wind knock me over but leave you untouched?”

The reed responded, “The wind will blow and it can’t be stopped, but those who are proud and stubborn are unable to withstand its assault, however those who are humble and adaptable are able to continue to stand after the turmoil has passed.”

It’s a great reminder that there will be challenges and we live in turbulent times, but those who seem to cope best aren’t the rigid, proud and dogmatic, but the malleable, humble and pragmatic.

So when the winds are blowing hard and you seem surrounded by turbulence, be the reed not the oak.

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