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Below is a picture of a plant popularly known as a black rose. It’s a succulent and not closely related to a regular rose (as are apples, by the way). Shown here, by itself, more or less, it shows beauty in its radial symmetry and shiny leaves.

And then, there’s this:

Fireworks. Rainbows. A light show of beauty. What gives?

What gives? Its neighbors — that’s what gives

And it gives back. The beauty, the variety, the subtlety — they only come to life as part of a community of plants. Each one allows, blocks, filters, reflects, or even possibly refracts and diffracts the light of the setting sun. On evenings like this, with not a cloud in the sky, the light here (very dry) is sharply directional and allows these effects to be enhanced. But the main thing is the interaction with the other plants and trees of the garden.

And, isn’t this true for people as well? Someone can look beautiful but true beauty shines when someone is loving, teaching, learning, dancing with, or playing as part of a team or orchestra. That’s when people reveal their most amazing and unique gifts and charms.

In fact, the only special gift humans have is the ability to communicate with each other in complex ways that allow us to cooperate even across time and space.

Dance of Billions


What Line?

How the Nightingale Learned to Sing

Listen you can hear the echoes

Series on Leadership and Empathy

The Walkabout Diaries: Bee Wise

The Walkabout Diaries: How Beautiful and Green

The Walkabout Diaries: The Party

The Walkabout Diaries: Life Will Find a Way

The Walkabout Diaries: Life of the Party

The Walkabout Diaries: Friends

The Walkabout Diaries: Sunset

The Walkabout Diaries: Lest We Forget