Value is relative 

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December 10, 2016 by pecanbutter

I found wisdom in what I read today. It is from Chuang Tzu, a Taoist philosopher and a contemporary of Lao Tzu. He relates that value is relative. Being able to understand the difference between what you value and what others value creates opportunities for you to develop something out of your interaction with one another. 

The story goes, there was an old tree most people found worthless. It was so knotted that it offered not an inch of flat wood, making it useless to carpenters. It was so ugly that no painter wanted to paint it or gardener to decorate it. 

But the characteristics that made it worthless to carpenters, painters and gardeners were considered quite important by the tree itself. Indeed they saved the tree’s life. Because no one saw value in cutting the tree down, it grew unharmed for hundreds of years. 

Takeaway: Value depends on perspective. It is not absolute. What is considered good, bad, ugly, valuable, worthless, does not exist as an absolute. Rather, it depends on one’s point of view. 


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