Imagine as hard as you can, if you will, a tree.
It has roots, a trunk, branches, and leaves. A fairly standard tree can be said to have these ingredients. If we look closer, we discover each section has various smaller sections inside. The roots have large roots and small roots, some roots are very long, others are very short. The roots may have a small skin, and inside, the cells are made up in different ways. The trunk, again, is made of bark, which has two or more layers to it, then the inside of the tree consists of layers of age, plus various channels for water to pass through. The branches are much like the trunk but with the variable qualities of the roots, and then the leaves again are made of various parts which form each unit.
This in depth look at a tree might be a little too much to encapsulate into an imaginative concept all at once, but if we visit each part in turn, perhaps this makes it more mentally digestible. Now, with each part, the qualities are different, and the jobs they do are different. Even the way the jobs are done and in what conditions are all different. From the macro to the nano, the tree is an array of uniquely working individual parts made up of an even greater collection of independently operating cells. Everything seems to fit in place quite nicely, and provided the tree is healthy, it bears much fruit.
The human race is a bit like this, if we consider the fruit to be the creation of new things in the world. We could perhaps look at the way we live our lives as having qualities of the tree, and our place in the 'grand scheme' that just happens to form as we each find our niche in the society we live within. It could be that we are like the roots, working underground, almost in secret, but doing excellent work for the tree as a whole, it could be that we are like the bark, doing a job like security or police for example, providing some kind of protective quality. Perhaps we are like the leaves, and we are in the sunshine, making lovely sweet things that give energy to society, or perhaps the leaves could be more considered to be those who work in power stations. Branches are those who support those in the light, whose sole purpose is to make energy, and from tip to toe, all is sustained by the work of the roots and the leaves, which are in turn supported by the trunk and the branches. The combination of everything together is the only way the tree can be a tree and survive. Taking any one of the ingredients away would result in killing the tree. Only the leaves on deciduous trees can be shed each year, but only after they have created enough energy to allow the tree to enter hibernation.
We may then logically assume that those of us who don't serve an immediate purpose in life are not a part of the human race, but this can't be the case. In fact, when we consider the tree, beyond the layers of living and growing wood within the trunk is in fact a central core which has stopped growing, and is merely there to support. Each of us as people have a more grounding role than any of the jobs we may do. We each are here to help out when we can. An unemployed person who has no where to live is able to assist a person when ever asked, and so it has no matter what the occupation is, we can each be considered a part of the same human organism.
This is why I think that sometimes we can look at the human race as a tree, and it may do us well to remember that the liquids and nutrients, the protective qualities, the supply of all the required ingredients for stability of each part is an important element of what keeps a tree alive. Like before, if any section is removed,the tree would die, and so if the provision of protection, water and energy were to be denied to any section or part, it would mean disaster for the entire organism over not much time at all. Perhaps this is an argument against austerity, but I just liked the idea of us all being part of the same thing, even if we are totally different.
Rowan Blair Colver