Return to site




"The more extensive a man's knowledge of what has been done, the greater will be his power of knowing what to do." - Benjamin Disraeli

There's a great quote by author Louis L'Amour that says, "Knowledge is like money: to be of value it must circulate, and in circulating it can increase in quantity and, hopefully, in value." If we consider how many unique experiences we've all had, it's easy to see how the knowledge we've gained through each of our life lessons and experiences can become a powerful form of currency in someone else's life.

In a way, nature has already shown us how to do this. In Ecologist Says Trees Talk to Each Other in a Language We Can Learn (side note: mind=blown), there's a great line that gives us a new way to think about how we interact with people around us. "Trees talk, and through these conversations they increase the resilience of the whole community." These findings are exciting because they refute the long held belief that trees compete with each other for carbon, sunlight, water and nutrients.
These studies also uncovered that if one type of tree was weaker, the stronger trees around it would pass along nutrients through the underground roots connecting them to each other. More established trees passed nutrients to seedlings which needed to grow larger towards the sunlight to survive. When one tree was attacked by insects, it distributed chemicals to nearby trees to warn them of a possible attack so they could prepare themselves. There is even documented proof that when a tree is dying, it releases its resources into the root networks so that its neighbors can benefit from the nourishment it will no longer need. Like we said, mind=blown.

broken image

As it turns out, trees have been a supportive network of resources for each other for ages and this is why forests continue to flourish. The trees understand that how they thrive is by sharing what they have and what they know with the rest of the community. So what does this have to do with us? At some point in our development, someone has helped us rise when we were unable to take the sun in for ourselves. If we shift our mindset to behave more like those networks of trees, we could begin to pass along "nutrients" as well - lessons learned and the stories of our experience to help others.


In our own lives, we cash in on the lessons we've learned as soon as we make different or better choices than we did in the past (presumably before we knew better). Rather than letting those lessons just end with our experience, like trees, we should pass that wisdom along to the people in our lives in an effort to build up our communities and the generations coming behind us. The wisdom we share doesn't always need to be grand, and sometimes, how we navigate life or simply how we lead by example can prove to be a great learning experience for someone else. Our families and the lives we influence are essentially concentric circles. Helping one person positively impacts the growth and resilience of the entire network. The best way to ensure that our families and communities flourish in the future is by being the nutrients for someone else's roots right now.