when trees sneeze
or Your Exhausting Social Responsibility Towards Everyone and Why People Who Build Treehouses Are Happier
1. You have no social responsibility towards trees.
You don’t have to care what they think or say hi to them when you walk by. When trees sneeze in the woods, no one says ‘Bless you.’ You can be naked around trees or be angry or be high. You can be you around a tree – with no fronts with no pretend with no masks. You don’t customize your presentation, hygiene, outfit, personality, sex appeal, facial expression, voice, habits when a tree is in the vicinity. You don’t care how you look to trees.
2. You can’t treat people like trees.
It’s considered rude to ‘treat people as if they didn’t exist.’ This means constantly altering yourself slightly due to nothing more than the presence of another person. You have to constantly be smiling at them, judging whether they are weak/infirm/old/fragile enough to deserve your seat or your care, censoring yourself in various ways to suit their temperaments. Their existence causes you to act/smell/talk/be differently in a way that the existence of a tree would not.
3. There are too many people to have a realistic social responsibility toward all of them.
You can’t tailor yourself to suit the tastes of seven billion people. Whether you want to or not, whether you have amazing social skills or not, whether you look good from most angles or not, you just don’t have 7,000,000,000 smiles in you.
It’s impossible to make sure seven billion people get a seat. It’s impossible to look good from seven billion angles. And even if you never said or did anything at all, someone would still be disappointed with you for it. The world’s too big to give everyone the correct amount of social consideration and respect that they require. Even the average of 80,000 people you will interact with in your lifetime is still too big a number to realistically get right.
4. You have to treat some people like trees.
There’s no way to avoid it. The more people there are and the more you get to know, the more you will have to treat like trees. There’s simply no way for your mind to process all the socially-acceptable interactions necessary to fulfill all your social responsibilities toward every human being that ever crosses your path. You will get sweaty, you will laugh too loud, you will burp, you will act like your negative cultural stereotype, your hair will be out of place, you will leave food on your beard, your clothes won’t match. At some point in your life the sheer weight of your social responsibility will dawn on you, and despite your best efforts, the cracks in your social veneer will begin to show.
5. Be yourself.
Those trees are also treating you like a tree. From now on it’s just you and your friends in a forest. Build a treehouse, and feel free to live in it as You, edition 1.0. You’ll be happier.