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The parable of the Vancouver Board of Education's special advisor

There once was a man who kept his yard full of hundreds of
well-groomed trees. He was very fond of his trees, watering and
pruning them with care as the seasons changed. One day he received a
letter from the municipality informing him that new regulations no
longer allowed him to have so many trees at so great a height, and
that the man was required to remove $18.1 million cubic inches of
trees from his property. The man was devastated. He drew up endless
plans about which trees to cut down. He asked his neighbors for
advice. He constantly phoned the municipality to beg them to
reconsider. But the municipality did not budge; they merely gave him a
deadline by which the trees would have to be cut. The man had no
choice but to sharpen his saw and come up with a tree-cutting plan.

One day, someone came to the man's door. It was a special advisor from
the municipality. The advisor had come to his property to live there
for several weeks and then recommend a series of tree-cuts in order to
comply with regulations. At first the man was angry. He thought, "I
know my trees better than anyone! How can she tell me which ones to
cut down?"

But then the man realized that, with the arrival of the special
advisor, his torment was over. The municipality had set the rules, and
the municipality would be responsible for the cuts. It would still be
painful to see his trees damaged, but in the end he would not be the
one deciding which of his trees had to go. He would simply deal with
the aftermath as best he could.

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