Day 20: On cutting down trees

Would you make a tree grow, or cut it down?

My sister Mica shared this with me just yesterday. She had read from the blog of Samantha Fey that the men and women living in the Solomon Islands of the South Pacific have a unique way of taking down trees. Men circle the tree for 30 days and scream at the tree. They hurl insults at the tree for the duration of that entire month (30 days seems to be a magical number for getting results). The effect of their screaming is that the tree dies. It always does. The villagers believe that the constant screaming and insulting is what kills the tree’s spirit.

This story reminds of the work of Japanese researcher Masaru Emoto, author of The Hidden Messages in Water (I first learned of this in the film What the Bleep do we Know?). Using a special photographic technology, he is able to capture the details of a water crystal. He did an experiment to see how thoughts and words affected the formation of untreated distilled water crystals. He typed phrases onto paper, and then taped them onto the bottles and left them overnight. Here are the effects of the words on water:

"Thank you" (photo from

"You make me sick, I want to kill you" (photo from

Kind words turned the water into a beautiful “snowflake” crystal, whereas the insult resulted into an image that resembled diseased cells under a microscope. And since we’re made up of 75% water, think about the effect of words and intentions on people.

The words we say to trees, water and people always create an effect.

Today, will you cut down a person, or nurture her to grow? Will you speak words of love and appreciation, or hurl insults and curses to water down someone’s spirit? Think about it. Ultimately, what comes into play after is a universal and biblical truth: Do unto other as you want them to do unto you.


4 thoughts on “Day 20: On cutting down trees

  1. Mica says:

    There’s something more powerful than just words. They’re emotional words. It is amazing how we are all connected and that trees have feelings. What more when we scream at a loved one. We are literally killing them slowly. Now I remember, I read this from the blog of Samantha Fey.

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