I watched too much TV today




I watched too much TV today leading to the below. It’s interesting to see that Greek mythology still has a place in today’s world.


The Lies of an axe


Once upon a time there was a thriving forest full of white oak, aspen and olive trees. All the trees lived in close proximity to one another never noticing their differences in color.


One day from the East came an axe to make the forest a better place, or so he said. The axe told the white oak they were the superior tree and the olive and aspen trees were making the forest dirtier.


The white oak were quickly convinced that they were the superior tree. The axe made the white oak trees think he was one of them because his handle was made of wood.


As the white oak started to believe that they would be better off without the aspens and olive trees, the axe began cutting them down and the forest began to thin. Trees fell to the axe in the hundreds of thousands as the white oak cheered. For the aspen and olive trees it was as if a pandemic was cutting them down when all along it was the axe. The white oak trees were so blinded by the shiny blade of the axe that they began to celebrate the demise of their forest’s diversity. As the forest died, the axe thrived.


Some in the forest began to see that the loss of diversity would mean the demise of the entire forest and all that lived within it. But, the axe had blinded the white oak and filled their minds with lies and their hearts with hate. The olive and aspen trees were now so detested by the white oaks which allowed the axe to keep cutting them down.


The axe told the white oak that without the olive and aspen trees the forest would grow back again and be the greatest forest in the world. Eventually, some of the white oak trees understood the true intentions of the axe. But, others remained blind because the axe’s handle was made of wood and they believed him to be one of them.


The forest’s last hope rested on an old white oak tree who’d seen axes like this before. Conflict between the old white oak tree and the axe quickly ensued while one tree fell after another without much fanfare. And, the young and foolish white oak trees listened more to the axe than to one of their own hastening the demise of the forest.


The axe became more and more brazen which enhanced his appeal with a large segment of the white oak trees in the forest. The axe would lie, and lie often knowing that there are two ways to fool the trees. One is to get them to believe what isn't true; the other is to get them to refuse to believe what is true. The axe knew if he repeated a lie often enough it would become the truth, and that if he was able to get the trees to believe his falsehoods, it would serve his best interests.


For the axe, everything was a business proposition at the heart of which was getting as much wood as possible from the forest. Ultimately, the white oak trees who would not listen to reason became bigots, and those who could not comprehend the true intentions of the axe became fools.


The old white oak tried to get everyone to listen to the truth while the axe continued to spread his lies. All the while the forest continued on its decline promised by the axe that better days were just around the corner. But, of course from the axe nothing he said could ever be true, because while his handle was made of wood, everything he said and did was a deception. For the axe, the wood was more important than the pain and loss he cast upon the trees. Ultimately, the instincts of the axe were to cut, not because he was starved for wood, but because the forest became a meal for his ego.

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© Khaled F. Sherif, 2020

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