“My kids are starting to notice I’m a little different from the other dads. “Why don’t you have a straight job like everyone else?” they asked me the other day.
I told them this story:
In the forest, there was a crooked tree and a straight tree. Every day, the straight tree would say to the crooked tree, “Look at me…I’m tall, and I’m straight, and I’m handsome. Look at you…you’re all crooked and bent over. No one wants to look at you.” And they grew up in that forest together. And then one day the loggers came, and they saw the crooked tree and the straight tree, and they said, “Just cut the straight trees and leave the rest.” So the loggers turned all the straight trees into lumber and toothpicks and paper. And the crooked tree is still there, growing stronger and stranger every day.”__ Tom Waits
(From the Bible)
WHY boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? The goodness of God endureth continually. Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. Thou loveth evil more than good; and lying more than righteousness. Selah. Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue. God shall likewise destroy thee forever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah.
Psalm 52:1-5 (King David)
The Foolish, Pride, Self-righteous, and Vain People, Status with God
And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
The Pharisee stood and prayed this with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
God’s Righteous Judgment:
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
St. Luke 18:9-14 (King James Bible)
“And the crooked tree is still there, growing stronger and stranger every day.”
_ Tom Waits
Although the author of this quote was criticized, and poked fun at for being different, as was the publican in the parable that Jesus gave, the two men were achievers. We find that being different can work for the individual who are comfortable with themselves, and most importantly work hard to achieve greatness. In the case of the publican, who prayed to God for help, many others do the same.
To be and achiever in the face of criticism, one has to stay focused on their goal. Failure comes when negative thoughts are allowed to enter into the mind. Avoiding negative influences while working on a goal, is the best approach to take, in order to become an achiever.
I have been confronted with criticism many times, and told, I couldn’t reach my goals. My message to those who criticized me was, and remains, I will never give up!
Some people view my work as strange. Like the author of the quote, I am growing stronger and stranger every day. I am humble, and prayerful to God daily for his mercy to me.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Scriptures: King James Bible