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Huitse said to Changtse, “I have a tree, and though it is large its trunk is so irregular and gnarled and its branches so twisted that it cannot be used for lumber. It stands right by the roadside, yet no carpenter will look at it. Your words are like that tree, big and useless, and no one pays attention to them.”

Changtse replied: “Have you never seen a wild cat, crouching down in wait for its prey? It is always ready to pounce, right, left, high or low. But if it is too focused on its prey it can easily be captured, or fall into a net. On the other hand, there is the yak with its great big body. But for all its size it cannot catch mice. Now you have a large tree but fret over its uselessness. But even if it grew in the middle of nowhere, you could rest beneath it, and take advantage of its shade. Since it would be safe from any axe, nothing will harm it. It is useless to you only because you want to make it into something it is not.”

―from The Chuang-tzu

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