Better To Bend Than Break



There’s an old fable about the competition between the reed and the oak during a gale storm.  As the wind howled, the oak boasted, while the reed said nothing.  The wind became a tempest, and the reed bent down flexibly to the ground.  The oak fell, uprooted.


On the bank of a river grew a tall Oak Tree.
It stood with its roots firm in the ground,
and its head high in the air, and said to itself:

“How strong I am! Nothing shall make
me bow. I look down upon all the other trees.”

But one day there was a storm. The terri-
ble unseen wind came and struck the proud
Oak. Crash! went the trunk, down came all
the beautiful branches, and the Tree fell into
the river. As the water carried it away, it
passed by a Reed that grew on the bank.
The little Reed stood up tall and slender, and
looked at the poor broken Tree.

“O Reed,” said the Tree, “how did it happen
that you were not broken down and spoiled
when the wind came? You are so little and
weak, and I was so strong and proud.”

“Ah! poor Tree,” said the Reed, “that is
just the reason that the wind did not hurt me.
I bent low until it had gone by, but you stood
stiff, and tried to stop it on its way. No one
can stop the wind. It must go where it is sent,
but it will not hurt those who are not proud
and stubborn.”

It is better to yield – bend when logic demands it, or break [be destroyed] by pride.

Sometimes we seem strong but we are just being stubborn.  We become rigid in our moral positions and don’t even try to understand the problems of those around us.  We like to be thought of as uncompromising and tough.

Maybe we’re frightened.  Perhaps we fear that if we even start to compromise we will be lost; on sign of weakness and the dam will burst and we’ll be up to our old tricks again.

Don’t confuse rigidity with true strength.  To be strong we need to be tolerant, responsive, and gentle.  We need to be strong in a loving, flexible, human way.  This is a central part of one’s personal growth.


About Mark Schmitz

Living in Phoenix, AZ since 1995, originally from Brown Deer, Wisconsin. I'm a Gemini born on May 26, 1961. Single, GWM who is HIV and healthy. Spiritually diverse, I'm just trying to stay on the right path to learn all that I came here to learn. That's what my blogs are about - and total honesty.

Posted on November 16, 2010, in About Me, Addiction, Life, Opinions, Personal Growth, Recovery, Relationships, Self Discovery, Spirituality, Trust Personal Growth and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. “Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken”

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