The evolution of mankind has gone hand-in-hand with one specific entity that is nearly four hundred million years old. That entity is nothing more than a simple, but complex tree. That paradoxical sentence contradicts itself in order to highlight a point. That point is that the relationship between mankind and trees may seem simple, but upon further analysis can prove to be analogous with the complex evolution of mankind's development.
When one thinks of the primary needs they immediately state food, water, and sleep. This is because those needs are day-to-day aspects of life that are often diminished or neglected. For example, not sleeping for a day or being unable to eat during a very busy work day. Because of that individual's learn to respect those aspects of life. The truth is that the primary need that should be above all is not. That need is oxygen. Oxygen comes as a result of trees filtering the hazardous CO2 from the air and releasing oxygen. As time progresses, a tree's overall goal is to increase in size and CO2 consumption. This is done until a tree reaches maximum capacity, which is roughly 20 kilograms of oxygen per year.
At this point, it has been stated that the overall goal of a tree is to remove the bad and emit the good. That idea can be looked at from a humanistic perspective to identify with Erik Erikson’s idea of generativity vs. stagnation. This concept states that one can either choose to dedicate themselves to bettering the next generation or they can express narcissistic tendencies (stagnation). Narcissistic tendencies hurt the people whom one comes into contact with, while compassionate tendencies do the exact opposite. This point is being made to highlight two ideas about life and trees, which are analogous.
First, trees are very important aspects of life that should be respected. Secondly, one should think long-term and structure their day-to-day actions as if they were a tree. This can be put in perspective by thinking of the repercussions that would come from a selfish tree that sucked in CO2 and chose not to emit oxygen because it was greedy. That same idea can be furthered by pointing out the fact that one who chooses to suck up CO2 (narcissistic tendencies) and hold on to them rather than releasing oxygen (compassionate tendencies) is infringing upon the rest of the world.
A Bark so Tough - No Bite Necessary
The overall goal of a tree is to reach the biggest size it can and to produce the most oxygen. However, neither of those goals would be accomplished if a tree was not equipped with the proper techniques and overall resources. The resources being referred to are sun and water. The processes being referred to are the ability to adapt to changes in those two resources and to restructure itself after a tragedy. For example, the coniferous trees use resources such as pine cones and thick bark to protect against the cold and protect seeds in a harsh winter. Additionally, the trees thin needles prevent water loss and specific adaptive abilities that allow it to photosynthesize in minimal amounts of sunlight.
Branching Out - As Humans
As previously mentioned a tree's goal is to use both innate tendencies and adaptive tendencies to grow as big as possible and produce the most oxygen. This identifies with an individual's ability to take the proper measures when trying to achieve their goal, which was mentioned as being generativity. Those proper measures can be looked at in terms of one’s real self and ideal self. The real self is looking at the errors or adversity in life and being able to recognize those problems that are inhibiting growth in terms of physical or psychological well-being. Establishing a perception of one’s real self is seeing a future where those obstacles are overcome and life is better in all aspects.
The process that was just mentioned is analogous with a tree to a certain degree because a human must use their innate tendencies as well as their adaptive tendencies. These can include internal incentives, external incentives, learning to act in order to receive a positive stimulus (positive reinforcement), and learning to act proactively to prevent a negative stimulus (negative reinforcement). For example, the previously mentioned tree will react to the low levels of sunlight by adapting and accommodating itself to them. That will ensure the tree will survive and reach its goal of producing the most oxygen possible. An individual may only get a few hours to relax on the weekend. They could recognize their goal and go serve the homeless shelter or do any activity that made the world a better place.
Coming Full Circle - The Final Rings
Both trees and mankind eventually have to meet their demise. When a tree meets its demise it releases its CO2 back into the air or leaves it in the soil. This identifies with the way an individual dies because upon death an individual can no longer demonstrate their narcissistic or compassionate tendencies. All that is left when either being meets its demise is the overall impact that it had on the lives of those around it.
For example, a person that expressed compassionate tendencies with the intention of bettering the world would leave a legacy that many people remembered. This would be the opposite of the case if one held on to that CO2 (narcissistic tendencies). Overall the goal is to experience ego integrity vs despair and leave the earth feeling ego integrity. That would ensure one left the world feeling peace and acceptance with their overall life.
“Experience is the teacher of all things.”
Experience has continuously shown that adaptability, reasonability, compassion, and attempts to better the next generation leave one better off. That can be seen when they format a sense of peace that allows them to live everyday with no uncertainties or feelings of uneasiness. Additionally, that can be seen after life is over and their name, ideology, and overall nature are carried on and respected. The purpose of putting this in perspective using trees was to show that trees are most definitely valuable resources. The other goal of using trees to reflect life was to capture knowledge about the most valuable resource the world has. Overall by doing this the nation will at least form the opinion that trees must be taken care of.
Got a tree that needs a little "Tree Loving Care" (TLC)? Call Nashua Tree Service today at (877) 959-9540 and let us help.