Trees are vital in the circle of life

Their towering importance literally is reflected in what they signify in our lives figuratively. It is the trees lining our roads, which grew from little seeds, that give us shade.

FOR the past seven years or so, I have not had to pay for my water usage since it never exceeded the 20 cubic metres of free water a month courtesy of the Selangor government.

Frankly, I think water is too precious a commodity to be given away free. It encourages wastage and does not help the consumer to be more environmentally-conscious.

Ironically, whether I am Mr Green or Mr Must-Wash-My-Cars-Daily, I am subjected to the same inconveniences brought about by the water rationing exercise in the Klang Valley.

The skies have really opened up of late, which means that our prayers have been answered. But until very recently, our taps still ran dry because the dams were not filling up. Hmm … excuse me, God, can you please make it rain over our catchment areas?

Alas, that’s the problem when we tamper with nature. Developers zero in on the best spots and convince the state authorities that degazetting some parts of our protected forest reserves is okay.

They promise that their projects will be very green because they will replant trees. The reality is that row upon row of the same species of trees, oftentimes so ornamental that birds do not want to nest in them, will never have the same effect as forests in their virgin state.

The catchment areas are where the trees have a sponge-like effect, gathering the rain waters as they fall and channelling them through streams and rivers to the dams.

In that respect, trees are a vital link in the circle of life. Their towering importance literally is reflected in what they signify in our lives figuratively.

In life, very often we get to enjoy what others have sown before us. The trees lining our roads that give us shade grew from little seeds. They had to be watered and nurtured with tender loving care for years, before they reached their full height.

How often we take things for granted, never stopping to give thanks for the fruit of another person’s labour.

When the Tiger of Jelutong passed away so suddenly, there was a massive outpouring of public support and everyone talked about Karpal Singh’s legacy.

I believe his legacy will live on, not through the name of a road or a memorial, but in how we each continue to live out the principles of justice that he stood for.

by Soo Ewe Jin.

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