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Know your own strengths

An olive tree grew near the edge of a lake where tall reds rose in the shallows. It saw how the reeds bent in the wind, and couldn't resist telling them it was better to stand firm instead of waving about in every little breeze.

But one winter a great gale swept across the lake. The reeds bent almost to the ground before it but, when it was over, they stood tall and straight again. The poor old olive tree had two of its heavy branches snapped off, and it was pushed over so that half its roots were broken. "Sometimes it's better to bow down before great strength," the reeds said to the olive tree.

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