Lessons in equality, from a book about trees.
I just read these words: “a tree can be only as strong as the forest that surrounds it” and immediately thought of the marriage equality debate, of white supremacists and people reeling from the supposed “power shifts” they see going on in the world.
If trees can be only as strong as the forest around them, how much more so, we humans?
When we diminish others, because of the colour of their skin or their sexual preference; when we demand that lawmakers rope off exclusive “VIP” areas where they aren’t welcome – shops, drinking fountains, public transport, marriage, public toilets, places of learning – it diminishes ALL OF US.
Every person is diminished by such attempts to reinforce a hierarchy where some have more power than others.
I am diminished by every chant about “the Jews” and “the gays” and “the blacks”, and you are too; even if you’re one of the ones chanting. Even if you chant from a place of profound moral conviction, those chants for legislative imbalance further imbalance us all.
None of us win by stomping on others. That’s not a display power or supremacy. That’s fear.
And like trees, fear has a deep, intertwined root system. It’s woven through our religious institutions, our education systems, and our economies.
Let’s be more like the forest, and less like individual trees, people. We need every single tree to be healthy and connected, otherwise, we are all destined to be felled and turned into mulch.
Keep looking up,
I posted these thoughts on my Facebook page this morning, and though I could add many, many other thoughts to it, I’ve decided to let this stand as the aha moment it was for me today.