The Wrong Tree

By Greg Baer M.D.

July 23, 2014

A few days ago, while I was sitting on the floating dock in the middle of the lake behind my house, I observed two trees that were dead. The next day I walked into the forest with my chainsaw and located the first tree. I had considerable difficulty starting the engine—the new carburetor had not yet arrived—so I was tired by the time I began cutting.

It was a large tree—sixty feet or so in height and more than five feet in circumference—located on a slope, and I was sweating by the time I brought it down. I moved on to the next tree, which was considerably larger and more difficult. Because I was tired and distracted, I was not as careful as usual, and the tree—weighing many tons—pinched the bar of my saw as its enormous mass tilted into the cut I’d made.

With an axe I cut the saw free, but as the tree fell, it bent the bar that allows movement of the sharp chain. Now I have to replace the bar, the blade, and the carburetor. Worse, after the tree fell, I saw that I had cut the wrong tree—a live one right next to the dead one I had intended to cut. I was tired and in a hurry, so I didn’t look up to confirm that I was working on the right tree, and I paid the price for it.

Most of us spend a lifetime cutting down the wrong trees. We try very hard and do our best, but we are hampered by defective saws, exhaustion, and misdirection. We have to find the right equipment and pay attention to what we’re doing, or we can’t get the results we want. Nothing but love will help us find the right trees and give us the ability to harvest them.

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About the author 

Greg Baer, M.D.

I am the founder of The Real Love® Company, Inc, a non-profit organization. Following the sale of my successful ophthalmology practice I have dedicated the past 25 years to teaching people a remarkable process that replaces all of life's "crazy" with peace, confidence and meaning in various aspects of their personal lives, including parenting, marriages, the workplace and more.

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