quotes

Trees take care of each other. So should humans

I was up early yesterday and went to Granville Island while the market was still waking up. People were setting up booths and others, like me, were killing time until stuff opened. Walking around I kept thinking I hope you have a good day and your business does well. Not in some fluffy insincere way but in a way that is painful and connected and empathetic. I wanted these people to be okay, to do well.

I couldn’t help but think about how different our world would be if this was how we thought about things. Take care of each other so we can all do well and have decent lives. Don’t we all want everyone to be okay or has the individualism of capitalism crushed that from most of us?

Typing up quotes from The Secret Life of Trees I basically only underlined stuff about how trees help each other. Like humans they are social and live in communities. They take care of each other. And so should we.

Scientists in the Harz mountains in Germany have discovered that this really is a case of interdependence, and most individual trees of the same species growing in the same stand are connected to each other through their root system. It appears that nutrient exchange and helping neighbours in times of need is the rule.
There are advantages to working together. A tree is not a forest. On its own, a tree cannont establish a consistent local climate. It is at the mercy of wind and weather. But together, many trees create and ecosystem that moderates extremes of heat and cold, stores a great deal of water, and generates a great deal of humidity. And in this protected environment, trees can live to be very old. To get to this point, the community must remain intact no matter what. If every tree was looking out only for itself, then quite a few of them would never reach old age.
Every tree, therefor, is valuable to the community and worth keeping around for as long as possible. And that is why even sick individuals are supported and nourished until they recover.
Whoever has an abundance of sugar hands some over; whoever is running short gets some help.
When trees grow together, nutrients and water can be optimally divided among them all so that each tree can grow into the best tree it can be.
A tree can only be as strong as the forest that surrounds it.
Their well-being depends on their community, and when the supposedly feeble trees disappear, the others lose as well.
Even strong trees get sick a lot over the course of their lives.
And because they know this intiuitively, they do not hesitate to help each other out.
One final limitation is an organism’s own genestics: an organism that is too greedy and takes too much without giving anything in return destroys what it needs for life and dies out.
Species that live in social groups don’t entertain this option because every individual belongs to a community that will look after it in times of need, warn it of impending dangers and feed it if it is sick or in distress.