Living together we rely on each other. This can be compared to the “social life” of a forest. In the “society of trees” it is not the case that all trees are the same. There are big ones and small ones. In fact, the big trees also have to rely on the small ones and the small ones on the big ones for the situation to be safe. It isn’t true that a tree isn’t threatened by dangers only because it is big. When a storm comes it is the big trees that fall. Similarly the small trees need to rely on the big ones. If there weren’t any big trees to lean on they’d break.
Any society needs to cooperate like this. Following the principles that the Buddha laid down can mitigate the problems that occur when unbeautiful situations arise. Human beings should use their intelligence, their faculties of mindfulness and wisdom, and rise above the behavior of the animal realm. That’s why the Buddha praised the qualities of mindfulness and wisdom.
This reflection by Luang Por Liem is from the book, No Worries, p. 27.