The (many) tree(s) of knowledge

A symbol of so much more. A memorial to the shearers’ strike of 1891 and consequences of same. Barcaldine, central Queensland, Australia.

As I contemplate this post, I pondered alternate titles, including some less succinct or positive.

‘The sadness of needing to be better than our leaders’. Some of our leaders at least, especially those who thirst for power and influence.

‘Balancing community desire to unite with human inclinations to divide’. Survival of the fittest is primal, yet civilisation is fundamentally about rising above our base desires, and instead cooperating and sharing our privilege as a species, while nurturing our beautiful planet.

‘To oppose a good idea because our opponent proposed it’. Short-term thinking and not what true leaders of integrity and compassion do.

‘Those who choose to ignore history are doomed to repeat it’. Not having the collective wisdom or respect to benefit from the knowledge derived from those who preceded us. To displace our egos for long enough to progress our humanity. But human frailty intervenes.

And so on.

These are the times when we need positive and honourable leaders. Leaders with a willingness to be different. To seek out, to include and integrate the many ‘trees of knowledge’. To unite and not to divide, because unity is a joyful experience. It is helpful too, when we are safe and calm, in the midst of others. That is the reward for such efforts. And yes, we do need to work at it. All of us, if we are to achieve collective and equitable well-being.

Good leaders are also wise. Hopefully as we grow older, we can also grow our wisdom. The wisdom is there to access, from the young and the older, from our adjacent cultures, we just need to be brave, compassionate and humble enough to embrace it. To utilise it for the benefit of others and ourselves. Life is so much better when we do so.

Leave a comment