Getting Along with the Whole: Forest and Warrior

In this week’s essay, I wanted to draw a comparison between our lives and a natural ecosystem. I hoped to offer reminders that we exist in conjunction with a host of other people and things.

In the book I’m currently working on, Dear Warriors, I’m diving deeper into this analogy. Marlene’s photo and my thoughts in this essay were among the initial inspirations that I’ve looked to. The term “warrior” has been used a lot recently to describe people with type 1 diabetes, which is the target audience for my new work. I’m exploring the definition of “warrior”, which can have an extremely violent and hostile connotation today. I’m convinced we can reclaim the meaning of “warrior” to describe all people and in a completely different way: hard-working, team-oriented, resourceful and creative-thinking.  The “noble warrior” or “spiritual warrior” dealing with general hardship and strife, as it were. I’m equally convinced we can also compare ourselves to trees, as in this shot.

Why? Warriors and trees both do better when they exist together with others. As a tribe or as a forest, we are stronger together.

As I wrote in this essay, we’re also richer. The forest is a complex environment with many facets. Certainly, there are conflicts. However, there is also bounty. Plants and animals have been known to live in active harmony because each species benefits. There is a flow within a forest.

Who and what are your forest friends and warrior allies?

Best wishes to you this week! As an educator. As a warrior. As a beautiful tree in an amazing forest. Picture yourself there. Who and what are your forest friends and warrior allies? You’ve got this! :-)

P.S. Today, I watched an extremely moving TED talk by Sally Kohn, called What We Can Do About the Culture of Hate. To me, hate is the opposite of the harmony of which I referenced here. I watched this presentation with that in mind, and it worked for me. As Ms. Kohn’s profile indicates, she “searches for common ground among political foes by focusing on the compassion and humanity in everyone.” Foes- warriors. Common ground- forest floor. Am I stretching this connection a bit?


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