A Higher Branch is a universal fable about a young boy who loves to climb trees. He goes into the woods and then loses his way home. It serves as a simple metaphor for how as adults we often lose our way but choose to do nothing about it.
Being lost is a terrifying experience for a child. But as adults we live and accept this feeling as a normal way of life. Consequently we drift aimlessly in the direction of our greatest weaknesses. We forget that we have a choice to take action. But often we do not know what action to take. We are never given a guide to follow.
In the story, the young boy, Tom, is given that simple guide by a wise old man who introduces him to his eight Trees of Life. The Tree of Health, the Tree of Love, the Tree of Family, the Tree of Work, the Tree of Friendship, the Tree of learning, the Tree of Wealth and the Tree of Charity.
The old man then teaches him to develop a partnership between his heart and his mind that hard‐wires him for success. He also teaches him to master a pattern of thinking that is impenetrable to the chaos and negativity of the outside world.
The wise old man takes Tom on a journey through the different stages of his life. The wonder years of youth, the learning years of school and university, the time of first love and first job, the marriage and parenting years, the working years and finally his retirement and re‐invention.
The story also takes us on the same journey, at whatever stage we may be in our life. We start to relate to the wise old man as he shares with Tom all of his life experiences including his regrets and lessons. The story also dares us to see ourselves as the lost little boy. It provokes the question: if you could go back and guide yourself as a little boy or girl, what would you tell yourself? What wisdom would you teach? What failings and mistakes, and more importantly, what lessons have you learned?
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An interview with Sam
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