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  • 01. Introduction. Zhuangzi's Crooked Tree Huizi said to Zhuangzi, "This old tree is

  • so crooked and rough that it is useless for lumber. In the same way, your teachings have

  • no practical use." Zhuangzi replied, "This tree may be useless

  • as lumber, but you could rest in the gentle shade of its big branches or admire its rustic

  • character. It only seems useless to you because you want to turn it into something else and

  • don't know how to appreciate it for what it is. My teachings are like this."

  • Zhuangzi, the Taoist philosopher, is supposed to have lived in China over 2,300 years ago.

  • He encouraged people to achieve their potential through effortlessness, by not resisting their

  • own natures. His famous story about the crooked tree appeals

  • to me for many reasons. Being in the forest industry, I know that a crooked tree is not

  • suitable for making standard commodity lumber products, but it can make high quality decorative

  • products which feature its natural beauty and individuality.

  • Such a tree has grown to a ripe old age by adapting itself to its environment. Whereas

  • the trees in the industrial forest are straight and look alike, the crooked tree grew alone,

  • or with a mixture of other trees of different ages and species. This kind of tree will resist

  • wind and disease better than the more uniform trees of the plantation forest.

  • # MISSING/DIFFERENT And so it is with people who follow their

  • natures and pursue their own path to self-fulfillment. They are more independent and more secure.

  • A true language learner must be like this crooked tree of Zhuangzi.

  • That is why we chose a crooked tree as the logo for our new language learning system

  • called The Linguist™.

01. Introduction. Zhuangzi's Crooked Tree Huizi said to Zhuangzi, "This old tree is

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