A very large Oak was uprooted by the wind. . . .It fell among some Reeds, which it thus addressed: “I wonder how you, who are so light and weak, are not entirely crushed by these strong winds.” They replied, “You fight and contend with the wind, and consequently you are destroyed; while we on the contrary bend before the least breath of air, and therefore remain unbroken, and escape.”
—“THE OAK AND THE REEDS,” AESOP’S FABLES
In “The Oak and the Reeds,” the large oak tree and the small reeds are blown this way and that by the wind. The oak tree tries to stand tall and rigid, resisting the powerful, scattering wind. Eventually, it falls, defeated.
The reeds, on the other hand, bend. It’s not just that they’re willing to ...