If a Tree Falls and No One Hears It…?
The question goes, “If a tree falls and no one hears it, does it still make a sound?” I’ll shake this question up a bit and ask, “If you experience or see something, and no one else responds to it—did it still happen?”
At one time or another, each of us faces a situation in which we strongly experience something that no one else responds to. Know the feeling? Without anyone else echoing what you saw or felt, you may wonder whether you imagined it all. Throughout life, it can be challenging to hold onto your true experience when you’re getting the message from others that it’s better or more convenient to dismiss it.
You’re like the tree (without the falling part necessarily). The tree still falls even if no one is there to witness it happening. That’s what’s most important. In your own life when you go through something that’s important to you, it bears the same significance regardless of whether other people acknowledge it or not.
It can feel frustrating to know your experience and then to doubt it because you feel alone there. The experiences you have that don’t fit a formula or can’t be categorized can feel like that the most. What’s most important, however, is that it really did happen—for you. The tree doesn’t care if anyone heard it fall or not. For humans, it’s more complex than that. Still, we can learn from the tree in keeping the integrity of our experiences even when there isn’t a witness to them.
This week, take in those moments that no one else but you responds to. If you make a joke and no one else laughs, you can still enjoy the joke for yourself. If you see or hear something crazy and there’s zero reaction around you, remind yourself that the event still happened for you. If you see a hummingbird zip in front of your face, a lady bug appear on your clothing just when you need a little luck, or an unexplainable occurrence…it’s okay if no one else is there to see it or react to it but you. Sometimes the coolest moments are like that.