Why do we all ‘self-harm’?

Today my self-imposed challenge is, to release a spontaneous meaningful post in under 30 mins, and let it be. As I train my muscle of writing and sharing my thoughts on a more regular basis. The clock is ticking…

One of my favourite quotes is this one:

“No tree would be so foolish to allow its leafs to fight amongst themselves”. An old saying from a native Indian tribe.

Now, ask yourself:

When reading this, do you see yourself, the human being, as a leaf or the tree?

Or as a network of trees, that are all connected.

Or do you see that there is only one tree there, representing all of us, or all of “it”

This is my link to the headline: Why do we all self-harm?

Humans fighting harm themselves as they are connected by being part of a bigger picture, like the same tree. But even that is a narrow view.

My daughter pointed out a fascinating book to me: The hidden life of trees. By Peter Wohlleben.

What a paradigm shift! I grew up with a father that’s a carpenter (to this day) and I was always connected to ‘wood’ from a young age.

As it turns out, trees are communicators, connected via the way they grow the branches towards each other. The way the branches grow, a skilled expert can see, if those trees like or dislike each other.

Even more impressive, I find, is that the root system of trees, often much larger than the crowns, builds a much stronger connection, over large territories.

Trees communicate, via scents, they send out when being under attack, for example from a giraffe or even a single tiny beetle. Firstly they send out toxic chemicals to their leaves to change the taste in a short period of time so that the feeding predator wanders off.

At the same time, it warns other trees nearby, by sending out specific scents as a message. Those receiving trees send the toxic chemicals to the leaves before the giraffe even turns to them.

The giraffe knows this and does not turn to the next tree nearby but walks to trees a good distance away, to enjoy the better taste ( for a while) – and often walks against the wind to find the next tree to feed on.

Why? Well, scents can only fly with the wind, not against it. So

This is when the underground tree communication system kicks in. The trees send electrical signals via the roots, at a slow pace though, an around an inch per minute. So on top of the scents via the air, the roots communicate.

If trees are too far apart, so that the roots don’t connect, there is a ‘wood wide web’ in place: funghi! Those organisms connect the roots of the trees.  They found one funghi that covers a space of 20.000 basketball courts, apparently, it’s the biggest living organism found so far. In a tablespoon of healthy soil, you can find over a mile of funghi.

Can you see now that there is only one tree there, one organism, as a metaphor?

The point of this post is not to recite this book. It’s amazing, go and check it out. It reached the bestseller list.

The point is that nature shows us once again: what appears as a single leaf, is an illusion. there is no separation. The leave is part of a tree with roots and a wood wide web of funghi.

You only see the tree and see them as separate inhabitants of the forest. But that’s not the reality. The trees of the forest become one organism. (My daughter sent me the photo of the forest.)

One human is not isolated from another. We are all connected. Via a collective consciousness.

You, your team, your department, all departments in your organisation are one big organism. All organisations.

“No tree organisation would be so foolish to allow its leaves people/departments to fight amongst themselves”.  Why do we all self-harm?

I hope this gives room for thought.

To the ‘Undivided Leader’ in you.


P.S.: Additional thoughts popped up:

“No tree Nation would be so foolish to allow its leaves citizens to fight amongst themselves”.  That would rule out all civil wars…

“No tree planet would be so foolish to allow its leaves citizens/countries to fight amongst themselves”.  …and all wars between nations,

“No tree galaxy would be so foolish to allow its leaves citizens from different planets to fight amongst themselves”.  …and even all ‘Star Wars’. (I am getting carried away…)

To the ‘Undivided Leader’ in you.

Thomas & Joe


Joe single - 1
P.S.: I just wanted to write a short post. I failed. I wrote 639 words and it took 60 mins. Room for improvement…

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