Think back to a time you experienced a hot afternoon.
The sun was scorching. Your skin was sizzling. Sweat was slithering down your face. You wanted nothing more than to have a bucket of ice cold water dumped on your head. Unfortunately this wasn’t the Super Bowl, so the Gatorade shower was nowhere to be found.
When all else seemed lost, you noticed a huge, shaded saving grace. You ambled over to a giant oak tree and tumbled in joy at the earthy covering the tree provided.
Oh what a feeling!
What had just been sweltering heat instantly because a serene summer day (if only for a moment).
The tree that made you feel calm, cool and protected, did you ever stop to think about where that came from.
Probably not, and I don’t blame you. Trees are just kind of there, right?
Isn’t that an awesome thought?
The thing you needed most on that miserably boiling day was just kind of there. It was already there, just waiting for you.
Journalist, Walter Lippmann, once wrote that “men plant trees they will never sit under.”
Think about it…When was the last time you sat under a tree that you actually planted? One in your back yard, maybe?
Most of the time we enjoy shade from trees we had nothing to do with planting or growing.
I heard an interview with Warren Buffett and he pointed to the Lippmann quote as to why he is so generous with his fortune.
“We’ve had the shade and other people have planted those (trees),” Buffett said. “And so I think it behooves people in that position to plant a few trees themselves.”
Buffett recognizes that he profited greatly from the work of others. I think it is important that we all recognize the same.
We all benefit from something we had nothing to do with growing.
It could be an actual tree, or a business or even Facebook.
I had nothing to do with WordPress, the blogging platform used to publish this post, but I benefit from it. You likely had nothing to do with WordPress, but if you enjoy this blog or others, you too benefit.
I can point to dozens of other trees that I did not grow that I use on a daily basis.
Where would I be if someone hadn’t taken the time to plant those? Luckily I don’t have to answer that question.
So today I am thankful for the trees I did not plant. I am thankful for their shade and I am thankful for their inspiration to plant a few trees of my own.