There’s a concept called apical dominance that I find fascinating.
Basically, it describes how the main stem of a tree or plant take precedence over branches. In other words, resources flow primarily to the main shoot – even at the expense of lesser branches.
This is why many trees wear a crown that comes to a point. Almost like they’re aimed upward toward God in their growth patterns.
It’s also why you see a lot of gnarly trees develop . When there’s an offshoot from the main trunk, resources don’t flow properly to one primary branch system. Instead, the resources are divided as the multiple branch system compete for dominance. (At least according to my non-scientific understanding.)
Anyway, the reason I find this so fascinating has to do with its direct application to our own lives.
We all have our own priorities. But keeping those priorities ordered requires a certain measure of attention and resources.
It almost makes me wonder if much of our own suffering results from a lack of an apical dominant ordering to our own lives and priorities.
In other words, I wonder if we struggle most when we don’t have our lives centered toward one highest aim.
When we allow multiple priorities to compete for our highest, best resources, maybe we’re fighting against the natural order of things.
I wonder, still, what life might look like when one aim – our highest, possible aim – becomes the dominant force in our lives.
What happens when we orient our lives around one primary aim rather than trying to juggle everything?
Like the trees, it appears it’s still possible to have a primary aim and secondary aims (our branches, if you will).
And the trees that grow tallest seems to embrace this – if for no other reason than by design or adaptation.
Maybe we can learn a thing or two from the trees. At least, if we ever allow ourselves to slow down enough to contemplate them.