One of Aesop’s fables I really enjoy is the one about the Oak and the Reeds. This fable address how a stubborn and closed mind can lead to ruin. In this analogy, stubbornness is the oak standing tall, never wavering for its views. Here the reed represents open mindedness and a powerful belief system that allows them to listen to other’s thoughts and opinions unlike the oak. The tempest in our analogy is the difference of opinions and ideologies.
The oak boosted of his might of mind and physical strength, while ridiculing the reeds for their weakness and bowing to even the slightest breeze. Controversy here represented by the wind in Aesop’s fable grew more and more intense. As the reeds bowed to the wind, the mighty oak resisted, only to be ripped up by its roots and lying among the pitying reeds.
In life, the stubborn oak does not listen to reason or heed advice. It is of its own mindset and it will not change even to its eventual destruction. While the reeds are of the mindset, every opinion has value and should be respected no matter how trifle, they don’t compromise on their core beliefs, but remain open to reason and the advice of others.
In our life, we’re presented with many tempest or storms as controversy and life’s situation thrown our way every day. Listen to reason and consider the advice of others, but never give up your core beliefs, your roots in this analogy. Your roots keep you grounded. Consider your friends and family’s advice and never turn down an opportunity to hear the other side of the story. With a strong belief in individual freedoms, free speech cuts through ignorance.