Humans can learn from trees

Published 7:01 pm Friday, September 6, 2019


Contributing columnist 

I have found it to be true that while we are all very different from each other, we are essentially the same in that we share many of the same experiences in our lives. 

Email newsletter signup

I have never been accused in my life of being a social butterfly. Being around other people and participating in social events sounds more like a punishment to me rather than something that is enjoyed or actually looked forward too. I often am amazed at others that seem to be able to interact with people so easily and they actually appear to enjoy it. 

I have always found that I am more comfortable in nature than at social events so it makes sense that I have spent a lot more of my time in the woods around the best that nature has to offer than I ever have spent at any type of party or social event. 

My wife and I enjoy going hiking and spend many of our weekends climbing the side of some mountain within the tri-state area. I have come to realize while hiking through the woods that we as humans could learn a lot from trees. 

Before you think that I have totally lost my mind, let me explain some of the lessons that we could learn from them. 

Trees are strong yet they remain flexible. A strong wind comes and trees have learned to bend a little in order to prevent from being damaged. Maybe we as humans should realize that we don’t have to argue and insist that we are always right and that our way is the only way. Why not bend a little and just be happy? 

Another thing about trees is that they are patient. Many times, it takes trees many years to grow from a small seedling into the big and massive beings that they are today. They realize that not everything happens overnight and that good things are worth waiting for. In a world filled with “I want everything and I want it now” attitudes, we should be reminded that anything worth having is worth waiting for. 

Trees are impressive to me also because they all stand alone and yet they are all connected. Trees do not care what type of tree they are or what type of tree another is. They don’t care if a Maple Tree grows in a forest of Oak Trees. The Oaks do not think any less of the Maple nor do they think they are any better or less just because they have different bark on the outside. They know that on the inside they are the same. Humans should take a lesson from that attitude. 

One of the most important things to me about trees is that they are survivors. Many times while hiking, I have seen trees growing out of the side of a huge boulder — no dirt anywhere in sight. Yet, the tree refuses to do anything except excel. They do what they have to do in order to succeed. 

The tree does not complain that its conditions are unfair or that it is being treated differently than the other trees. The tree doesn’t think it should receive special treatment because it was dealt a rough hand. The tree merely takes what it has and it does what is required to succeed. This is something that we as humans could greatly benefit from as is the fact that trees do not base their self-esteem on what other trees are doing. 

Their job is to grow into beautiful loving trees and that is something we should be doing as well. 


Jack Godbey is a resident of Danville and is a published author.