We Are Trees

At this point in the 21st century, I suspect that the majority of the world’s population has heard of global warming and climate change. Without a doubt, everyone has felt the effects at some point in their lives. Despite the voices of the climate change deniers and the naysayers telling us otherwise, we are running headlong into a global crisis we might not be able to recover from. My intent here is not to preach about the end of the world, because it won’t be the end of the world. Life will go on, it will adapt, but it might not be the best quality of life unless we do something now to change it.

Reading long, technical news and scientific articles can be tedious and discouraging which is why I love the videos on Youtube by Prince Ea. He has posted two, so far, that discuss climate change called “Dear Future Generations – Sorry” and “Man vs. Earth“. They are powerful videos with beautiful yet horrific imagery.

“Wisdom is different. While intelligence speaks, wisdom listens. And we willingly covered our ears to Mother Nature’s screams, and closed our eyes to all of her ‘help wanted’ signs. Wisdom knows that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, so if we were wise we would not be shocked when we see storms that are stronger than ever before, or more drought, hurricanes and wildfire than ever before because there’s more pollution than ever before…”

In the video “Dear Future Generations”, Prince Ea has a lot of references to trees, whether they be that we may no longer have them or comparing us to them, including “branches of government” and “we are the root”. Over the numerous times I’ve watched the video and listened to the lyrics, this analogy always reached out to me. I began thinking about my natural life cycle, and those of my family, as part of the life cycle of a tree. Allow me to explain:

“We are the root. We are the foundation, this generation. It is up to us to take care of this planet. It is our only home.”

We start as cells that may one day become tiny humans, infants and toddlers – the potential for a new generation. They are the seeds that will become the tree. Then we have the realized infants and toddlers, all the way up to preteens – these are our roots. They are the solid foundation of potential for change to be made, as we’ve seen from little Henry Hall who is devastated that people are so mean and rude to the planet by littering and cutting down trees, being cruel to animals, and all-around just destroying our only home. Next we have our young adults, the ones that have reached an age of independence and maturity, with an idea of who they want to be and what kind of people they are. These individuals make up the trunks. They’re solid, resilient, and this stage of our lives is the most pivotal, in my opinion, next to the initial development.

Following the trunk, we reach the branches, the ones we used to play in as children. We dreamed of being adults so we could do what we wanted, when we wanted, never having to do as we’re told. What an amazing lie that was, for now we have more responsibility than ever: the very fate of the world in our hands, in our actions. When we become adults, we branch out into different fields of interest and careers, some stemming from others, intermingling to work cohesively, much like the twisting and turning among the branches.

Finally, we have families of our own – our spouses become the leaves, the acorns our children and the cycle will begin again. It’s a beautiful journey that we all must take. That is not to say that we are all going to get married and have children, but we all know people who do and we become part of a community of people that foster the next generations. It is our responsibility to leave the world a better place than we found it. Only through hard work and global cooperation is this going to be possible.

So stand for trees, because they are our future.

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