Tougher As They Get Older

An elderly teacher, with a pupil by his side, took a walk through a forest. Suddenly he stopped and pointed to four plants close at hand. The first was just beginning to peep above the ground, the second had rooted itself pretty well into the earth, the third was a small shrub, while the fourth was a full-sized tree. The tutor said to his young companion, ‘Pull up the first plant.’ The boy did so eagerly, using only his fingers.
‘Now pull up the second.’ The youth obeyed but found the task more difficult.
‘Do the same with the third,’ he urged. The boy had to use all his strength to uproot it.
‘Now,’ said the instructor, ‘try your hand with the fourth.’ The pupil put his arms around the trunk of the tall tree and couldn’t even shake its leaves. ‘This, my son, is just what happens with our bad habits. When they are young, we can remove them readily; but when they are old, it’s hard to uproot them, though we pray and struggle ever so sincerely.'”
From the Heidelberg Herald.