The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.
I love trees. The sturdy Live Oak is my all-time favorite, followed closely by the Texas state tree, the native Pecan. Planting trees is a noble undertaking in our quest to make a positive contribution to the environment. Trees contribute by absorbing carbon dioxide and potentially harmful gases while releasing oxygen. It has been estimated that one large tree can supply a day’s requirement of oxygen for four people. Trees also provide habitat and food for birds and other animals. The shade provided by trees is important for cooling animals and important for cattle welfare.
Figuratively, planting trees extends well beyond the physical act to the symbolic “tree planting” or generativity that is a common goal of both organizational and individual relationships. Mentorship, charitable donations, parenting, teaching, coaching and volunteer service could all be classified as “tree planting” opportunities. Many of the results of the “shade” produced by these endeavors may not be observed in a lifetime of service – yet may be a legacy of shade for future generations.