There were problems in the Forest. The biggest problem was that The Forest Keepers had stopped seeing it. All they could see was one tree. And that tree was The Money Tree.
It was looking a little sickly. It needed something but no one was quite sure what. Something before it started losing more leaves. Something to make those drying branches green again. Whatever it needed it had to be quick. Time was of the essence.
The Forest Keepers were so concerned about The Money Tree that they didn’t notice any of the other trees in the Forest. Especially the ones that were healthy. They didn’t think about how whatever they did might affect the others. They cared only about The Money Tree. That was most important tree in the Forest for them. They forgot this was a Forest with a lot of trees, trees whose roots touch each other. They forgot that the health of one tree can have an affect on another.
But there was that time factor. There wasn’t a moment to think this through.
They didn’t look to all the things they had done right over the years to keep their Forest healthy. True the climate in all the Forests had changed. But still, might they not take a moment to reflect and see how what they did right in the past could be used in combination with this global shift? Their Forest was the one that had been the home to many beautiful peacocks with colorful plumes. They had done a lot right.
But they were in a hurry. It was The Money Tree they were worried about. They needed a drink and a quick decision. Except there was no time for the drink. Maybe if there had been, if they had slowed down to think, they might have seen what everyone else did. That this was the wrong thing to do.
It was doomed to failure. Yes, it was cheap. Yes, it made financial sense. But wasn’t what they had built an industry on more than just making money? Hadn’t their Forest grown so big and so successful because of the quality of their trees? Hadn’t that made financial sense?
They paid no attention. They were the Forest Keepers. They pounded their chests and told the world they knew better. The keepers of the other Forests were happy! They knew they would benefit from this colossal mistake. They would get new visitors to their Forests. Yes, everyone shook their heads and knew it was just a matter of time before disaster struck.
All watched as they chopped down the Prime Time Tree with a great big electric saw. With one fell swoop it was gone! No more 10-11P programming as the Forest had known it. They brought in the Transplant Team and moved the Tonight Show Tree to take it’s place.
The Forest Workers knew this was going to be tough. Trees can’t just be moved. The location, the soil, the sun all determine whether transplanting a tree will take. They couldn’t see how this was the right thing. The visitors to the Forest didn’t either. But those Forest Keepers kept saying yes. We’ll give the tree a new name and all will be right. We’ll call it The Jay Leno Tree.
They moved more trees around. And yes, as you can imagine, other trees, trees they hadn’t even looked at before started to fall ill. Like the Late News Tree. The visitors to the Forest dwindled. Everyone was complaining. And that Money Tree. It really didn’t look any better than it had before.
It didn’t take long for The Forest Keepers to admit their mistake. They are scrambling now to move everything back. Looking for some Prime Time seedlings to plant right away. There are rumors amongst the Forest workers that some of the trees are even looking for a new Forest in which they might receive more care and attention. No one is surprised. They saw all along what the Forest Keepers refused to.
The lesson of this story is for Forest Keepers everywhere. Remember that you are in charge of a whole forest and not just one tree. Sometimes you need to step back to see what everyone else can. And remember, if the only tree you care for is the Money Tree the rest of the forest is doomed.