I was talking with my neighbour this morning about the trees that lined our st
reet. One of the reasons I bought the home I’m in was because of the beautiful old trees that stood so tall, which shaded our street and homes like a canopy, and nature lived in their limbs.
But these trees were cut down a few years back and replaced by saplings…it changed the environment, it changed the look of street, it changed an ecology system. Shade plants had to be removed to put sun plants in their place. Air conditioners run longer now because there is no protection from the harsh sun. We are not shaded by the beauty and the nests are gone. As we were talking of the value these old trees had, versus the lack in new trees, I couldn’t help but parallel this concept with ageism. Especially as these words, “…we are neglecting and not valuing wisdom, you can teach snap chat, but you can’t teach experience…” (Buckworth, 2017) still echo in my mind. I find in my workplace, the company has moved many ‘old trees’ out…removing the wisdom, life experiences, and knowledge of the tree. They are being replaced by ‘new saplings’. These saplings have a worth and value, but they do not have the breadth nor height of a decades old tree. They do no provide the same protection or
nurturing. Saplings do not have the strength, the reach, the hardiness of an old tree nor provides the same value. It is impossible, this only comes with what an old tree has gone through to become a many-ringed tree.
As with all analogies, there is not the perfect breakdown and we are humans, and trees are trees, but I still think we can learn a life lesson here…to not dismiss the value of an old tree…there is much that can be gained— alongside the saplings.
Buckworth, K. (2017-01-06). How I Responded When I Was Asked To Recommend A ‘Younger’ Me. Huffington Post: The Blog. Retrieved 27 May. 2017, from http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/kathy-buckworth/ageism-at-work_b_13996942.html.