The Giant Tree

I would like to share a short story with you.

The Giant Tree – Paulo Coelho


A carpenter and his apprentices were travelling through the province of Qi in search of building materials.
They saw a giant tree; five men all holding hands could not encompass its girth, and its crown reached almost to the clouds.
‘Let’s not waste our time with this tree,’ said the master carpenter. ‘It would take us for ever to cut it down. If we wanted to make a ship out of that heavy trunk, the ship would sink. If we tried to use it to build a roof, the walls would have to be specially reinforced.’
The group continued on its way. One of the apprentices remarked:
‘Such a big tree and no use to anyone!’
‘That’s where you’re wrong,’ said the master carpenter. ‘The tree was true to its own destiny.
“If it had been like all the others, we would have cut it down. But because it had the courage to be different, it will remain alive and strong for a long time yet.’

I’ve been reading Paulo Coelho for many years and he has great wisdom. I don’t always agree with everything he has to say, but then why would a person agree with everything another had another had to say. What would that make me if I did?

I like this story because it shows that it’s okay to be different. No-one’s path in life is truly set and if you stand out in the crowd you could find yourself been ridiculed or abandoned, but that only means that you have a different purpose in life to everyone else.

I think sometimes we all forget this, we all want to blend in and be like everyone else. Some may feel more comfortable just not drawing attention to themselves. Some are afraid of what others will say or do if they don’t follow the crowd.

Then there are some that stick out anyway, those who are physically different and can’t hide it. Those who have no wish to hide their opinions even it means they could be persecuted for it. These are the people that are generally remembered more.

Whether you wish to be like everyone else or have no desire to follow the crowd it’s always vital to remember that you are who you are and you should always follow your heart.

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Photo by salvatore ventura on Unsplash
Photo by Apostol Voicu on Unsplash

36 Comments

  1. coombemill
    October 23, 2017 / 10:06 am

    Very thought provoking, I find this fascinating to see in my kids, I have one who is happy to stand out and be different in his looks and his mannerism and is popular for it and most who like to confirm to a greater or lesser degree. My daughter is the worst, I can hardly tell her apart from all the other 13 year old's at the school gate! #MMBC

  2. October 23, 2017 / 11:39 am

    I love it when trees are true to their destiny – #themmlinky

  3. comfortspring
    October 23, 2017 / 11:58 am

    Wonderful post and very wise. Love the photo too. #MMBC

  4. michelemorin
    October 23, 2017 / 12:10 pm

    Great thoughts from Coelho. I read The Alchemist a few years ago and was really challenged by it!

  5. October 23, 2017 / 1:16 pm

    Beautiful, thought provoking post. I sometimes hide my true self because I don't want to stand out from the crowds but conversely because I have a disability I am obviously different from first glance. Maybe it boils down to having the confidence to be different and follow your own path? #mmbc

  6. Ola
    October 23, 2017 / 2:46 pm

    For me it all depends on which direction the "crowd" is going. If it is a direction of ignorance, hatred, and disobedience to life lessons, and upright principles or some other evil end, I'm definitely not on board with that. Trying to be different, just for the sake of being able to do so though? I'm not sure I understand the purpose in that, unless of course it just comes naturally. Otherwise, it's just another form of me-ism.

  7. Ola
    October 23, 2017 / 2:46 pm

    #mg

  8. October 23, 2017 / 2:55 pm

    It's always fascinating to see how our kids have different personalities and will lead different paths in life.

  9. October 23, 2017 / 2:55 pm

    The Alchemist is a great place to start, and the moral of the story is so true.

  10. October 23, 2017 / 2:56 pm

    Confidence does play a big part but if you are born different then it's good if you can embrace it, you will always feel better for it.

  11. October 23, 2017 / 2:59 pm

    I don't think it really means trying to be different for the sake of it, more like embrace your differences and not worry about what others say. A lot of people hide what they really think or feel just to follow the crowd, but if you really don't like what the crowd stands for then going your own way is what you really need to do.

  12. Ola
    October 23, 2017 / 3:41 pm

    Gotcha. That makes sense. Thank you.

  13. October 23, 2017 / 3:58 pm

    The last line of this is so true, it's all about trying to be true to you. Finding out who you are though can be a bit challenging sometimes. I think I'm still trying to work it out a bit. #TheMMLinky

  14. October 23, 2017 / 4:45 pm

    I think we all spend so much time working out who we are meant to be when all along all you have to do is listen to your heart.

  15. Lisa Pomerantz
    October 23, 2017 / 8:05 pm

    What a lovely quote/story! I am going to read that to my kids tonight after dinner. TY for sharing this! #mg xoxo #daretobedifferent

  16. October 23, 2017 / 9:10 pm

    Thank you Lisa, I hope they enjoy it. x

  17. October 24, 2017 / 7:38 am

    Love these thoughts. So true, we should be ourselves and be the best ourself that we can be! He's a very wise man, and you are wise too 🙂 Thanks for joining in with #TheMMlinky

  18. October 24, 2017 / 8:55 am

    Thanks Steph, I don't really consider myself as wise, lol. I do have two kids that are quite different and have no problems in accepting their differences and have no wish to follow the crowd and are happy. I must be doing something right, although I have family members who think they should try and disguise their differences and try to be more 'normal'

  19. Rebecca Beesley
    October 24, 2017 / 10:30 am

    Such wise words x

  20. mummyhereandthere
    October 24, 2017 / 1:48 pm

    This was a beautiful read and what a mighty tree captured X #mmbc

  21. October 24, 2017 / 4:06 pm

    Oh I absolutely love this post. Thanks for sharing. Sarah #mg

  22. October 24, 2017 / 4:26 pm

    Thank you, I do tend to look to Paulo for inspiration a lot.

  23. October 24, 2017 / 4:27 pm

    I wish I could take credit for the photo (it is credited at the end of the post, from the free image site Unsplash which is brilliant,) the tree is beautiful. x

  24. clairesaul
    October 25, 2017 / 2:30 pm

    What a fantastic post – this is something that I have tried to instill into my kids, particularly the youngest who hates drawing attention to herself. Having recently become a wheelchair user myself I am also learning to embrace my differences and view the world from a different angle! Thanks for sharing #TheMMLinky

  25. thesingleswan
    October 25, 2017 / 8:56 pm

    I love Paulo Coelo. He is so wise and thoughtful. Pen x #mg

  26. mackenzieglanville
    October 26, 2017 / 2:27 am

    I have never hard this, it is a great story to share. We all do have our own destiny, our own place in this world. I always wanted to fit in until I grew up and realised I was actually preventing my true self from ever having the chance to shine. #mg

  27. susanamass11
    October 26, 2017 / 2:10 pm

    Hello, Anne.

    Paulo Coelho is one of my best authors. I really like reading his books. We are so caught up in the moment that mostly all of us want to be "in". Thank you for reminding us that it's okay to be unique.

  28. debsrandomwritings
    October 26, 2017 / 4:56 pm

    Hi Anne, I love this story. We all have our quirks and differences, we are not all the same and shouldn't be, it's just some people try and blend in more than others. Which I find a shame as we should never be embarrassed to be who we are. We are all great in our own way and should be proud of who we are.

    Thank you for linking up with the #MMBC and sharing this story.

    xx

  29. October 28, 2017 / 8:36 am

    I love this Anne! It takes a lot of courage to be different, but can be so worth it. Thanks for linking up with #TheMMLinky once again x

  30. October 29, 2017 / 11:22 am

    I love this story Anne and so very true too. It's good to be different, it would be a very boring world if we were all the same 🙂

    Thanks so much for sharing with #MMBC x

  31. mackenzieglanville
    October 30, 2017 / 9:06 am

    Congratulations you are this weeks #mg featured blogger, stop by this week to grab your badge xx

  32. October 30, 2017 / 9:22 am

    Paulo Coelho is one of my favourite authors too. So much wisdom in his words. This is a beautiful story; really made me stop and reflect on how often I try to conform or deflect interest, and why. #mg

  33. Lisa Pomerantz
    October 30, 2017 / 4:01 pm

    Back from #blogcrush with some blog love!

  34. November 1, 2017 / 9:36 am

    Great message. I think for some people, like me, it depends on the day and my mood. I'm usually very happy to stand out from the crowd even if it makes me a little uncomfortable. But if I'm feeling a bit fragile then I tend to keep my head down. You're right though, it's about accepting yourself, and knowing that whatever and whoever you are is ok. You're not a failure if you want to blend in, or if you want to stand out, and you're not a failure if you want to do a bit of both or something entirely different! Thanks for sharing #BlogCrush

  35. optrixxaris1
    November 4, 2017 / 5:36 pm

    What a delightful post. I use this same quote with my youngest as they all say the second born just fits in – yeah right! #mg

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