I suppose one has to celebrate the little steps, for example when Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal has an article about the value of trees that haven’t been cut down.
Trees have a lot to teach us. They know a thing or two about surviving harsh years and thriving during good ones—they can show us the importance of taking the long view. They’re masters at resiliency, enduring fallow periods every winter and blooming anew each spring. They’re generous—they share nutrients with other trees and plants and provide clean air and shade for the rest of us. They certainly know how to age well.
And trees provoke awe—that emotional response to something vast that expands and challenges the way we see the world. It’s the perfect antidote to the way we’re feeling right now—a pathway to healing. Research shows that awe decreases stress, anxiety and inflammation. It can quiet our mental chatter by deactivating our brain’s default mode network—the area that is active when we’re not doing anything and that can get absorbed by worry and rumination, according to Dacher Keltner, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley and faculty director of the university’s Greater Good Science Center, who studies awe. It can improve our relationships, making us feel more supported by and more likely to help others, more compassionate and less greedy.