A man walked up to a tree.
It seemed to him to be a weak and tired tree. He could decipher clearly from the shape of it's trunk all of the paths it had tried to take to find the mysterious sun that gave it it's life. A sad life it must be, the man thought. The tree had to live it's whole life in despair, blinded by it's physical prison like a slave that could only stand and listen as his master gloated in his golden chair about all the food he could eat. At the end of his grand speech, only giving the slave a wooden platter with some bread on it, just enough to keep him alive for another day.
The tree stood still.
The man walked closer to the tree. A part of him felt that maybe, the tree could feel, and that somehow, being close to the tree would give it comfort. Upon closer inspection, he noticed that the tree was growing on the old stump of a fallen tree. Perhaps it wasn't as weak as he thought. In fact, maybe it was a very strong tree. The man considered this for a moment. Yes, now that he thought about it, it was a strong tree. While the other trees all took the easy way and grew straight up, doing exactly what the sun told them to do, this tree was a fighter. It spat in the sun's face, growing for it's own sake, instead of conforming to the crowd. It stood out as an example, showing to the other trees the potential they all had.
The man felt greatly inspired. He buzzed with ecstatic energy, almost dreaming in the thought of how wonderful it was that even trees understood the great power of individual inner strength. As his vision slid up to the top of the tree, he felt his excitement melt into a black, tarry abyss.
A gentle breeze picked the dangling and broken branches off of the dying tree and left them on the ground for the soil to digest.
The man was at a loss for what to do. He analyzed every last inch of the tree, dicing and mincing it to pieces with his sharp eyes. Tried as he might, he just could not figure out what it was the tree was doing.
The man felt his blood rush up from his body and colour his face.
He was embarrassed. No, he thought. Not embarrassed.
He was offended.
Here he was, a man with a master's degree in one of the most well respected educational institutions in the country, a passionate political activist with many followers, and he couldn't even see what this tree was doing. A tree! Of all things, a concept as common and well known as an individual tree somehow stunned his knowledge!
The man had bizarre, nonsensical fit. He walked and talked himself in circles, flailing his arms for no particular reason.
At long last, he let himself rest, and asked aloud: “I wonder what it's really like to be a tree.”
The tree stood still.
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