Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Falling tree and our children

Falling Trees

In the Solomon Islands in the south Pacific some villagers practice a unique form of logging. If a tree is too large to be felled with an ax, the natives cut it down by yelling at it.

Woodsmen with special powers creep up on a tree just at dawn and suddenly scream at it at the top of their lungs. They continue this for thirty days. The tree dies and falls over. The theory is that the hollering kills the spirit of the tree. According to the villagers, it always works.

We modern, urban, educated folks yell at traffic and bills and banks and machines--especially machines. Machines and things get most of the yelling. But machines and things just sit there. Even kicking doesn't always help.

As for people, well, the Solomon Islanders may have a point. Yelling at living things – children, wife, friends, colleagues, etc - does tend to kill the spirit in them. Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words will break our hearts....

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