Killing What We Love

Not long ago, we had a tree specialist come in to trim our redwoods, which look sparse and sick. We thought they were suffering from the drought, but were shocked to find out they are suffocating and starving to death. Previous owners laid black plastic around them to prevent weeds and then added a thick layer of gorilla mulch all the way up to the trunks. The root crowns were covered. Those trees are gasping for air and unable to get the nutrients they need from the leaf fall.

All that tender loving attention was killing the magnificent redwoods. Painful work started. We had to dig in and excavate around the root crowns so the trees could breathe. The black plastic needed to be pulled out and the gorilla mulch loosened so the leaf fall and small branches could break down into nutrient-rich food for the trees. It will be a while before the trees recover from the “care” several owners have given. One may not survive.

Recently, I read an article in the newspaper about San Francisco’s new plan to help drug addicts. The city leaders have decided to provide clean needles and a safe place for addicts to shoot up. They will not be questioned or harassed about how and where they got their drugs (or the money to buy them). They will be protected while they get high. This is all cloaked in words of human kindness.

Sometimes human kindness is the worst kind of cruelty.

Sometimes this kind of “kindness” promotes and perpetuates a deadly lifestyle. We will be enabling these lost and suffering people to keep walking toward death.

Like that line of redwoods with the black plastic and gorilla mulch that made everything look neat and tidy in the beginning, the new city program will end up killing the very people they want to help.