Trees Improve our Health and Much More

Research shows that trees can prevent over 800 U.S. deaths and 670,000 cases of acute respiratory symptoms (these numbers are for 2010), and remove pollution from our urban environment.

Culturally and spiritually, trees are important to many peoples, including the Mayan, Swedish, Germanic, and Malaysian. These people have worldviews and belief systems that value trees very highly.

The most profound example I found of what we could learn from trees is from Thich Nhat Hanh, who reflected on a tree leaf:

 

“I asked the leaf whether it was frightened because it was

autumn and the other leaves were falling.  The leaf told me,

“No.  During the whole spring and summer I was completely

alive.  I worked hard to help nourish the tree, and now much

of me is in the tree.  I am not limited by this form.  I am also

the whole tree, and when I go back to the soil, I will continue

to nourish the tree.  So I don’t worry at all.  As I leave this

branch and float to the ground, I will wave to the tree and tell

her, ‘I will see you again very soon.'”

 

I’ve written before about how we can be adaptive and change our form but retain integrity, and this is a perfect example of that leadership quality. Let’s be grateful for trees and all they do for us, and spend more time with them…

The Bodhi tree, with meditators. The Bodhi tree is considered sacred to Buddhists.

The Bodhi tree, with meditators. The Bodhi tree is considered sacred to Buddhists.

 

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