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The Gift of a Living Bridge

It seems there is a plant able to fill almost any niche. In this case Strangler Figs, in the Northeast India state of Meghalaya, are painstakingly trained over generations to stop massive soil erosion in the rainiest place on earth, and, more, to create almost indestructible living pedestrian bridges which will last for centuries despite mega rain events.

You have to admire the community thinking that goes into this beautiful work. These people, walking on centuries-old living bridges, realise the gift given them by their ancestors, and so they pay it forward by donating their labour to build more, even though they won’t benefit from it in their own lifetimes. Voices from the past, perhaps, urge them to follow their predecessors’ gracious example by investing a little energy into a wondrous gift to future generations. Imagine if we could spin our culture around to think like this.

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