Tree ‘The Hero’ - By Dr.B.S.Patil

The forest is filled with lush green trees. Closer look reveals that all trees are racing to reach sun. Straight trunks, no off shoots or branches, lineal growth instead of lateral growth are testimony of this contest. In reality whole race is to get their share of nutrients from the Sun.

Similar contest can be seen below the earth. All trees have created their own web of roots. Contest is to reach to the deepest, unexplored womb of the earth. Individual web of roots intertwined together to form ‘Wood Wide Web’.

The largest tree of the forest ‘Mataco’ stood majestically on the bank of the river. She was so huge and tall that, only specialised and daring primates managed to climb and only few have seen the world from such a height (except high flying birds). Age of the ‘Mataco’ is not known to anybody in the forest.

This tree stood alone with no relatives around. ‘Mataco’ is a rare kind of tree and it is even rarer to find saplings. The main reason of rarity is its flowering season. It arrives only once in sixty years. The last flowering season was awful and the tree was looking forward to the oncoming season.

One day an elephant came with a large group of animals to Mataco showing all the urgency in the world. While gasping for air, elephant said, “We have come here to warn about the upcoming famine. The river is drying up fast. We have to survive without water for more than six months”. With a long pause and plead in voice elephant added, “Mataco, you are the only hope for last two months of hot summer”.

The attentive tree said, “Hey elephant do not worry. My roots have grown stronger.  I can extract water from any depth.”

Mataco continued, now with pinch of arrogance added to the speech “But let me remind you, when I extract water, I will be the owner of the water and I will sell to anybody of my choice”.
The representatives of the animal kingdom present at that place looked unhappy. They murmured loudly rather than giving proper reply.

Mataco gave second option, “that’s ok; don’t worry about my first condition. I will remodel my proposal” and said, “All are eligible for free of cost, I don’t mind giving water to ants, as they loosen the soil for water to seep in, I will give water to birds as they give me majestic look, I will give it to elephants as their dung gives me best of fertilizer. But….” Stopped and looked around as if Mataco is searching for someone.

And in a cold blooded, expressionless voice said, “Except those red faced monkeys”.

Elephant looked puzzled and said, “What happens to them? Why you are against them?”

Red faced monkey, which was sitting on the branch of the Mataco and didn’t react and looked least, bothered.

Tree said, “I am fed up of these monkeys. They damage my branches and playing and jumping on it. They waste more than they eat”. Mataco continued, “This is an opportunity for me to chuck them out of this forest. Let them go to any other place, I don’t care”

Elephant in conciliatory mode warned tree by saying, “are you sure about what you are doing?”

Tree nodded its tall trunk in approval.

The famine arrived, showed its might and left, leaving behind strong evidences in the form of dried or dead trees, dead corpse of animals, parched land etc. Mataco ‘the Hero’ (now fondly referred to), survived, but looked very tired of pumping the water against gravity from the depth of the earth. The tree was the hero in real sense as most animals survived due to its effort.

In this entire furore, the family of red faced monkey left the forest silently.

Two years passed, elephant was walking by and saw the Mataco ‘The Hero’, which looked sad in spite of gaining, back its strength and agility.

Elephant inquired, “What happened?”
‘The Hero’ replied, I had good flowering season but I am not able to see my new saplings. I am flowering after sixty years. I am healthy; I have borne fruits with fertile seeds in it. They have fallen on the ground, but none of them are sprouting. I don’t understand, why? I am worried whether I will survive till next flowering season. If I die, that will end of my family”.

“You, yourself may be the reason” elephant replied curtly.
“You are so dumb that you did not understand that, your seeds come with strong shell which is too strong for sprouting. It has to be mellowed down by some process. Only such seed with softened shell sprouts”. Tree waited for further details.
Elephant continued, “You hated red faced monkeys. But, they are the one who eats those seeds and pass out intact without digesting it. But that process makes shell soft and seed is ready to sprout.”
Elephant concluded, “You failed to identify your interest”.

Negotiation Principle: “identifying one’s own interest in subject matter is important; equally important is identifying  ALL the interested parties”.
In this story Mataco ‘The Hero’ failed identify the all parties in whom his interest lies. By refusing to help monkey, tree has paid heavy price.

For example, a trained sales man should know importance of interested parties. Even though, sale of a car is a contract between showroom manager and buyer. But the actual decision of buying will be influenced by spouse, friends, colleagues or children. Therefore, salesman has to address everybody’s interest rather than concentrating on interest of the owner.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts