Society grows great when old men His show is all about building a better life for yourself and others and I do recommend that you give it try if you’re interested in gardening and homesteadingplant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in. -Greek Proverb
The above quote has been attributed to Aristotle and Socrates and probably a few others. I could only find it as “Greek Proverb”. Which is interestingly ironic when you consider the value of the lesson contained within the quote itself. The quote was actually brought to mind several days ago when I heard Jack Spirco of The Survival Podcast use it. ( His show is all about building a better life for yourself and others and I do recommend that you give it try if you’re interested in gardening and homesteading and small business. )
But, when I heard Jack give the quote I got a clear image of the specific tree in tonight’s feature image. The reason why is that it is the only tree in the middle of a sizable farm. Whith a public school in the background. If ever there was an object lesson in one photo, here it is.
I need to be clear that I have no idea what the relationship between the school and the tree actually is. Hopefully it’s a good one.
I imagine that the tree was left to provide a place where the farmhands could get out of the hot sun and while I’m fairly certain that the tree was already there when the field was first plowed I’m just as certain that it was purposely spared that first clearing.
I also hope that the school takes advantage of the opportunity for the students to observe and learn the agriculture going on next door.
The scene also makes me think of the unity of the past ( symbolized by the old tree) the present ( symbolized by the farming) and the future ( symbolized by the school).
More than likely the farmer has to keep an eye on the crops to protect them from being trampled by either the kids from the school or the public (I took the picture from a Walmart parking lot). But I think it’s reasonable to presume that at least a few trespassers make their way out to field just for the shade of this wonderful old tree. When they do, I hope that they not only are careful about stepping on the young plants but that they develop an interest in working the land and the value of either planting a tree for the future or at least leaving one behind for the next generation.
Oh, and the irony about the quote above? Well, the lesson is of course about building the future even though you won’t benefit from the effort yourself. Kinda like coming up with a wise proverb even though nobody will remember who actually said it first. But in the light of the lesson perhaps it’s intended for us not to know.
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