Whenever people gather our differences may divide us. There may be a way to view this that could help. The analogy here is between individualism vs. society. They may complement each other if we view them like a forest.
How to kill a forest…
Mow it down. I’ve seen it when they decided to take two of our acres in Tennessee and put a four lane behind us. Giant tractors simply mow the trees down, stripping the land. The other way is take the trees out one by one: ax, chain saw, poison a few of them. The first is kind of like the final solution for trees. The other is quieter…
In the 80’s I wrote a song called The Forest for the Trees. The bridge in the song makes me think about how we should handle our disagreements.
A forest needs curved trees, bent and the straight, the forest grows through civil debate…”
The best forests are the mixed ones: pines, deciduous, straight, crooked, needles down low to the ground, needles up high. Forests made of one type only are boring and not healthy. Much has been made of clearing the forest, but fallen trees and fallen leaves rot, providing nourishment and protection from fire. I know that’s counter intuitive, and something logging companies don’t want us to consider, but here in the Adirondacks we have few fires for many reasons, one being the leaves hold moisture as do rotting trees.
Long dry seasons certainly create much tinder, but moisture can still stay beneath the leaves, the pine needles, the downed trees.
People are similar. If we insist everyone be one way it’s not going to happen. There’s a long list of failed attempts to make us goosestep in time.
The Germans had the tree lawnmower solution. Mow them down with gas and then burn them. Some have the same solution, but cut them down one by one, or walk into a store, a church, any public place and start shooting. They may think themselves heroes, or getting rid of problems like those who they hate: political, race, religion.
Trying to mow the forest down one by one, or a few at a time… not realizing they are literally planting seeds for new trees and more rage against them.
Sure it works somewhat for a forest, but people aren’t trees.
It’s as if those managing the forest, who have power over it, have decided to destroy the forest tree by tree, not realizing this fire just gets bigger. Unless the goal here is total extermination of everyone, including themselves, they are blind by greed and lust for power.
And then we will have a different kind of forest…
“Inspection” is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 50 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions.
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