One whose nature is soft and plaint is like the soft trunk of a tree from which thick branches sprout.

In this elegant and meaningful saying, Hazrat Ali (AS) has compared man to a tree and man's friends to the branches of that tree.

Among trees, the one whose wood is of a softer quality gives off many branches, and a tree which has thicker branches produces greater shade thus attracting people to seek its cool comfort. Such a tree with abundant, green foliage also yields more fruit and again produces greater benefits for others. Consequently, such a tree will be given greater care and attention.

If the tree of man's life is also of a soft composition, if he is good-tempered and sweet-tongued, it will have a great number of branches. That is greater number of friends will gather around such a man. His friends will benefit from his kindness, and he too, will receive the attention and affection of a greater number of people.
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