The Knotted Tree

In the Taoist philosophy there is a story that means a lot to me. Not just because of it wise message, but also because I can apply it to my ADD.

What a shocker huh ?

(thread from the Mining Co. Bulletin Board) 1/6/98

written by Jake

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The story goes like this....


Two men were lost in the forest.

Having walked around for hours, night fell and they grew tired. They began to look for a place to rest when all of a sudden the came upon a tall tree. The tree was wide and tall, with a huge canopy of limbs and with roots springing out of the ground.

" We can not rest here. " said the first man. " This tree is knotted with roots everywhere, there is no place to rest on the ground. Why, you couldn't even make good furniture out of this wood. "

The second man shook his head. " No. " he said, " Your wrong, this tree is excellent for what it is. Its a lovely home for the birds, the animals have places to hide against their predators, and look, if I dig a little under this root, I can fit myself in and rest comfortably. It is a wonderful tree !! "


The moral of the story is that sometimes things are just fine the way they are. The first man thought the tree was useless because it was knotted. Where as the second man just took it for what it was and made the best out of it.

A lot of us look at our ADD and see it as a problem. We think that just because everyone else does things a certain way that we should too.

We see ADD as a dysfunction.

What if it isn't though ? What if there's a reason we are this way ?

What if the world is growing in a way that people with ADD are NEEDED for their talents ?

What if we simply started using our talents, instead of trying so hard to fit in ?

Maybe then, we'd stop seeing it as a dysfunction and simply see it for what it is.

Just another way of thinking.


Thoughts from Bob:

This is exactly the point that Thom Hartmann, myself, and a growing number of others are trying to make. Yes, there are problems with having ADD. But many of those problems come because we are trying to force fit ourselves or our children into a way of thinking which we are not naturally suited for.

Too many of us become convinced that we are disabled, and we become unable to see the good parts of our nonlinear way of thinking. We see the uncomfortable roots of the tree without noticing the shelter that the tree can provide.

And all too often, we give up.

I am not one to dismiss the problems of living with ADD. But, I am not willing to throw the baby out with the bath water, as it were. I will take the creativity, the nonlinear thinking, even the emotional roller coaster even if it means that I must also tolerate the down sides of living with may ADD wired brain in a culture that does not seem exactly ADD friendly.

Lets work to minimize the deficit, and make the most of the gifts.


This story may be copied freely so long as it is copied in its entirety and contains all of the links on it. If in printed form, those links must be in printed form. Please verify them before copying. Thank you. Chas at ADD Balance Check ADHD.

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