20 sec reading: the giant tree

By Paulo Coelho

A carpenter and his apprentices were travelling through the province of Qi in search of building materials.
They saw a giant tree; five men all holding hands could not encompass its girth, and its crown reached almost to the clouds.

‘Let’s not waste our time with this tree,’ said the master carpenter. ‘It would take us for ever to cut it down. If we wanted to make a ship out of that heavy trunk, the ship would sink. If we tried to use it to build a roof, the walls would have to be specially reinforced.’

The group continued on its way. One of the apprentices remarked:

‘Such a big tree and no use to anyone!’

‘That’s where you’re wrong,’ said the master carpenter. ‘The tree was true to its own destiny.
“If it had been like all the others, we would have cut it down. But because it had the courage to be different, it will remain alive and strong for a long time yet.’

Illustration by Ken Crane


  1. dalia gamal says:

    being different or successful always brings trouble cause jealous people will always be around! !!

  2. yasmin anjum says:

    yeah very nice,courage to be different,lets take the road never taken.

  3. Diego says:

    Bonita historia pero nada comparado con los videoblog que hacía sobre un tema particular de su interes,eran realmente inspiradores. se echan de menos. ¿hará más¿¿??
    Un fuerte abrazo

  4. SHUBH says:

    this was really inspiring……

  5. books online says:

    Excellent… i like this… this is really different from others…

  6. eimrel says:

    ….. nothing’s wrong with being different …. as long as u dont harm anyone …. ^_^

  7. rahul says:

    really inspiring story. a child will be really amused to listen such story and perhaps remember it as long as he is a child.

  8. Richa says:

    Excellent message sir. You have to be different and unique to be able to stand in this world or else people will walk over you.

  9. Arjav says:

    Be Original and you’ll be respected!

    1. rahul says:

      he is already respected. Do you mean the story he published is not his creation?

  10. Nando villalobos says:

    Gracias paulo, estas escrituras son , consejos para mi, y tiene un significado tan grande a pesar que mi escuela a sido; personas que me encuentro en el camino , algunos traen historias muy bonitas y las demas que no hablan sus hojos son igual que su destino, quiero seguir aprendiendo quiero seguir mi camino, quiero ser como el arbol, quiero ser un peregrino, gracias vida , gracias camino, por dejarme conocer ………………