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Posted at: Jun 13, 2019, 8:17 AM; last updated: Jun 13, 2019, 8:17 AM (IST)

Embracing humbleness from trees

Straight trees are cut first. In life too, straightforward people are the ones to face the axe first. But eventually, they come out sandpapered …
Embracing humbleness from trees

Priya tandon

On a visit to a jungle resort, I noticed that some trees were being felled. In today’s scenario when environment protection is a big thing on the social agenda, deforestation is virtually an offence. I asked the in-charge why they were cutting these trees. He said the trees had come of age and there was a huge demand for sleeper-logs. I noticed that all the trees that grew straight and had well rounded trunks faced the axe first of all.

Sitting on an easy chair, musing on this lazy afternoon, with the hacking sound of the woodcutters axe in the backdrop, I dozed off in my armchair. When I woke up, I realised that quite a few trees had been felled. I felt sad looking at them.

Isn’t this true in life too? People who are upright and straight are axed first! So perhaps the crooked trees are better; at least they are spared the axe!

The following day, I saw one of the woodcutters axing a crooked tree and chopping it to bits. I questioned him. He said the area had to be cleared. But this wood was good only as firewood!

It is the upright and straight trees that are used to make doors, windows, tables and beds. They are the ones that go to make the world a comfortable place to live in. Wherever you are while reading this, do look around. The doors and windows; the sofa or the bed you are sitting on; your table and chair, almost everything is made of wood. And yes! This wood was once a part of a tree.

As far as the crooked ones are concerned, they may survive longer in their first innings; but sooner or later they too shall fall to the axe and you know where they shall end? They shall be burnt and all what shall be left behind is ash!

In life too, the straightforward people are axed and felled too often. There are people who keep bruising them and rubbing them the wrong way. But eventually, they come out sandpapered … shining and strong! More valuable than ever! Even gold has to go through the process of heating to a very high temperature, so that its impurities burn away and it becomes pure. Only then can it be fashioned into an ornament. The process of sandpapering or heating is extremely painful. It may seem to last forever but eventually it pays off. Tests give us a taste of life. Life by no means is easy. It requires great strength of character to walk the path of duty in the face of adversity. Great men have great character. That is why they are great!

And surely it is these people who go to build the world. It is these people who are the pillars of society. The society banks upon them and looks up to them. The world is always ready to pull you down; it is in trying to hold your head high that you find your strength. And it is your conduct in life’s adversities that proves your worth.

Daydreaming while gazing at the leaves on the trees made me reflect upon the fact that the leaves have a short life. They come into the life of a tree for a short span of time. The branches too, grow on the tree and take nourishment from it. But if burdened with too much load or stepped upon, they may give way. The flowers and fruits are there for the shortest duration. And they are for the benefit of others only. The tree does not get to enjoy them. It is only the roots of the tree that are there throughout its life span. It is they that hold the tree up and provide nourishment all through. They may not be visible but it is because of them that the tree exists.

I smile as I think of all the leaves and branches in our lives and reaffirm the impermanence of their presence. I bow in reverence to those who have provided us our roots. It is because of them that we remain grounded. Come to think of it, isn’t it better to become roots for others, rather than grow off them? Truly life is more meaningful while giving and forgiving; rather than getting and forgetting!

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