Life is a precious gift, one often taken for granted. I believe a lonely heart dies. If our truest inner desire is to feel the joy and happiness life brings in living, let me suggest a truth I feel is a necessary ingredient of living a life worthwhile.
How many have heard the statement, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a noise?”
For a tree to be large enough to make a noise in any forest, it needs to be quite large. A large tree typically is many years old, often 100’s of years. During the lifetime of a tree, it has seen some pretty interesting years. Its beginning could have been one of being the first in the area, having a bird or small animal carry its seed to the fertile soil. When this seed finally received the required nutrients, it sent out roots, taking hold of whatever ground lay beneath.
The first years of some tree’s existence must be pretty tough as just about anything could stamp out its living. Winters, for trees in high forests, would completely cover this new tree with snow. The snow depth would be much higher than its height. Think of beginning a new life and spending six months covered in snow. As the tree grows, it too would face having something knocking over, stepping on it, or pulling off its branches in these new growth years. Hardships wouldn’t end after the tree grows. Even with its size finally large enough to compete with smaller challenges, it now may face years of drought, fires, and even insects during its life. But after all, this, if it is fortunate enough to have lived, seeing many seasons and reaching heights never thought of; it lived a full life.
Let’s assume a tree’s final glory is to go out with a bang. Now we are back to, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a noise.” If the answer is no, it was robbed of the crescendo of years of living. No one was there to partake in the life of these years of service to the forest, an incredible shame.
Let’s move to a new story. Have you ever driven down a beautiful highway, witnessed some outrageous scenery, and then seen the most amazing sunset you have ever seen? The sky is full of every color in the rainbow. The clouds are billowing, puffing out their chests, showing off the silver lining and the majesty of angels. The sun is brilliant, expressing its glow and lighting everything around you. The mountain range is waiting, ready to take the resting day, standing tall, showing its peaks, valleys, snow caps, vegetation, and animals. The rivers are flowing at maximum capacity, showing off flickering sparkles of glow as sunlight splashes off its rocks. You are spellbound, nearly breathless, thanking your creator for the beauty of nature; then you turn to make a comment to a friend, “Can you believe this!” You find you are alone, with no one there for you to share in this glory. Your heart sinks as you are intensely aware of how great life’s experiences are sharing them with others.
Would this sunset be lost if no one is there to see it? All the individual parts which make up the necessary ingredients of any of nature’s expressions have taken years to create and don’t come by every day. Think of putting together all the components of this sunset to have no one there to see.
Life is continually full of once-in-a-lifetime moments such as having a child, hitting a grand slam, marriage, summiting a peak, being there for a friend, and even finishing a life well lived. Just as the feeling we get when we see something truly unusual, it isn’t the same if we don’t have someone to share it with.
What do we do to surround ourselves in life’s events with meaningful friends and relationships so we aren’t left wondering if anyone heard our fall or saw our sunset?
We need to understand how others want to be treated. I find myself gravitating to those who accept me for who I am and have my interest at heart. When someone is fair with me, they gain my love and loyalty. To achieve others’ devotion, we need to understand how we treat others is a direct reflection on us. The better we get at treating others to their liking, the deeper our life experiences become.
Funny thing is, as we do this, we become intensely aware of others’ music and glory, giving us more to participate in personally. The world will never run out of resources. Our individual resources grow as we give ourselves away. The more we treat others well, the better we are treated, and this relationship grows exponentially.
There will be times in life we are alone; we may even self-elect this option occasionally, which is fine. Moments of solitude grant us time to reflect.
Life calls out for involvement with others, participating with us in life’s journeys. Think of our story about witnessing the sunset and finding ourselves alone. Witness that same glory manifest in our life with a loved one present. Now turn to share; the experience is entirely different. We are filled with joy with others participating. They see things differently and point out things we may have missed. Perhaps it will not be us who is first to see new events. Others will bring additional understanding into our lives. What we would have never experienced now is exposed, glorified, and becomes a part of us as we share. Our heart grows with admiration, enabling its love to expand and spread to others. Each person we touch now is changed. Our abundance becomes our being.
This may be a simple example of a basic principle. However, only a few will find it in time to use its resource fully. Our job is to find the things that make our living worthwhile. I argue spending time with others and building lifelong relationships is imperative. In my years on this planet, I have felt, through life’s journey, the value of being with others. Live a life worth living. One other will only dream of; surrounding themselves with loved ones, people of every kind.
Don’t fall where no one will hear you or shine where no one will see.