Which trees would you destroy?

Imagine walking on a narrow dusty path with nothing surrounding you but dirt and dust as far as your eyes can see. Every now and again on this dusty path, there is a hill that you can go over. You do not know what lies beyond the next hill but your expectation rises that somehow the scenery might change. As you start your descend of the fourth hill, your positivity starts to wane.

It seems that you are destined to look at sand and dirt and walk this dusty path forever. Ascending the next hill, you walk it slowly because you know that the chances are good that much more of the same is awaiting you on the other side of the hill. As you reach the top, you stop in awe. The scenery in front of you changes drastically. The dusty path leading down the hill is not dusty anymore. It is now filled with different sized pebbles, ranging from white to light brown in colour.

Surrounding the pebble path is lush green grass that smells so fresh that your nostrils cannot breathe in enough of it. As you walk the pebble paved path, you realize that as far as the eyes can see there are flowers spreading out like a colourful blanket. The mixture of smells is invigorating and you feel your steps becoming easier because you have something to enjoy as you stroll along. You are looking forward to the next hill, no matter how steep it is, because you know that this scenery is a sight for sore eyes. Your enthusiasm to see what is beyond the next hill is rewarded greatly. As you stand on the green hilltop with a backdrop of colourful flowers, you witness myriads of trees. Big to small, short to tall. Some with leaves so bright green that they seem to glow and others with leaves so small, they hardly seem real at all. You marvel at the different colours of their barks. You find the amazing shapes that the trees represent, remarkable. You walk your variegated pebble stoned path with ease as you gaze at the wonders of all this natural beauty. All of a sudden, from deep within your mind, a strong voice starts talking to you.

You stop suddenly, listening intently on what it is saying. To your surprise it asks you a question, a very disturbing question. “Which one of these trees would you like to survive?”, the voice asks.

Thinking you are nuts for talking to your inner voice, you answer it anyway. “I want all of them to survive” you think in response. “They are all going to disappear and you have to choose one”. “I do not want to choose one”, you reply. As you wait for the voice to reply, you see that one of the beautiful trees with the very small leaves that seem surreal, starts to discolor. The leaves start turning an autumn yellow and slowly shrivels to become completely black spots on the edge of the branches.

The branches start to make a horrible cracking sound as they start to dry out and fade out of your view and your existence. “What the hell was that?” you think. The voice in your head snickers: “If you do not choose, I will choose for you!”. Immediately all the trees with a variety of shapes, colors and sizes, starts disappearing in the same manner as the little tree you just witnessed. The horrific scene in front of you makes your insides feel like they are being pulled apart.

Your heart and emotions shut off as a form of protection against the dread you feel looking at this serene scene being morphed into oblivion. Finally, there is only one type of tree left. Shocked, you witness as the scene in front of you. The scene that went from the miraculous to the mundane…

I wonder how many of us will choose to destroy all the different types of trees in this little scenario so that just one can survive? I bet that most of us who appreciates life and all that the natural world has to offer, will not even think about this for a second. We would like to have all the trees of different shapes, colors and sizes to flourish. We know that we do not judge the trees, but rather, we appreciate the variety they bring. We do not say this one is too big or this one is too small. We do not say that this tree deserves to die and that one deserves to live. So why in the world would we do that to people on this planet? Why decide that a certain color of skin is now worse or better than any other.


May we find balance in the variety of humans that walk this earth and understanding in nature’s lessons.