The Other day I was surfing through the net when I chanced upon this beautiful and thought-provoking story-

A carpenter and his apprentice were walking together through a large forest. And when they came across a tall, huge, gnarled, old, beautiful oak tree, the carpenter asked his apprentice: “Do you know why this tree is so tall, so huge, so gnarled, so old and beautiful?” The apprentice looked at his master and said: “No…why?”

“Well,” the carpenter said, “because it is useless. If it had been useful it would have been cut long ago and made into tables and chairs, but because it is useless it could grow so tall and so beautiful that you can sit in its shade and relax.”

-Adapted from Chuang Tzu, The Inner Chapters

Now, pay attention to my story-

Our apartment is just beside a vacant land that could develop into a mini natural forest with a wide range of flora since there is no human intervention. You could just feel happy sitting on the balcony and passing time looking at the colorful flowers with butterflies flying around, squirrels running and playing, or listening to the rich melody of various species of birds both rare and regulars. The only trespassers into this area would be goats and cows which are freed by their owners for grazing. But with the advent of Pandemic, lockdowns, job cuts, and no income; many daily laborers fell these huge trees which must have taken years to grow, to sell them for firewood and for other utilities. Leave about my inconvenience and thoughts which goes as, “In today’s era when everyone is encouraging plantation, how could they cut such huge trees and blah blah?”, the Apartment Community Board Electives also couldn’t say anything to these people and we could only watch them cutting one after the other since its noman’s land. But on another thought can you really blame these people who cut the trees? After that, we were clearly able to see the ground and apartments on the other side of the land since all the lush greenery which used to beautify our eyes was gone.

What are your thoughts regarding these situations?  Do you think wherever humans set foot there is only destruction to Natural resources? Would you say Nature should be protected since humans have alternative means of earning if they put their mind to it or Humans are more important than trees or natural resources; we can plant new saplings or replenish Nature anytime?

See you Again. Until then.

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Jyoti Om

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