Una carta a Shel Silverstein…

Dear Shel Silverstein,

Ever since my mother read your book The Giving Tree to me as a young child, its lessons and story have stuck with me. At the age of fifteen, I still hold the morals from your book close to heart. For me, this book taught me to focus more on what I need rather than what I want. In other words, I need to be more grateful for what I have. Too often in the materialistic society we live in, it’s better to have a forest than your own backyard. That is to say, we as humans always want more. We can never get enough and we won’t stop trying to gain more and more until we are satisfied. The problem is, we won’t ever be satisfied if we have that kind of mindset. Material commodities and other forms of wealth are not the key to happiness, and that is something that has yet to be realized by society. It is certainly a joy to receive new things, but that satisfaction is only temporary. The memories you make with your family and friends lasts a lifetime, and is much more precious than any thing you can purchase.

Every time the boy comes back to the tree, he always has something in mind that he wants to gain. First it’s money so he can buy things, then he grows older and wants a house as well as a wife and kids, then finally a boat when he is much older. Only when the boy is an old man, has he learned the truth the hard way, that things cannot bring you everlasting happiness. I remember feeling pity for the tree as a kid, and angry at the boy for just wanting to take from the tree. I suppose that’s the whole idea of the book, the human was the taker and nature was the giver. I can recall feeling that anger and frustration that I had directed at the boy, and just so badly wanting him to appreciate how much the tree loved him as well as all the sacrifices it made for him. Every time the boy would come back and ask for something else from the tree, the page would always end in “and the tree was happy ̈” As a young child this struck me, the boy was getting all of these really nice things like a house and a boat, yet the tree was the one that was always happy. How did that make any sense at all? This has stayed with me up until now, and it has been a constant reminder for me that you can ́t find satisfaction and true happiness in new things. No matter how great it might be to buy something, it only occupies you for a time, then it’s just time to move on to the next thing. Your book taught me to appreciate the smaller things in life, and to focus on what I need not what I want. It taught me the true key to happiness. 

Thank you,


En Espanol:

Querida Shel Silverstein,

Cuando era joven, yo leo tu libro The Giving Tree. Después de muchos años, los lecciones de tu libro se quedó con mi. En tu libro, el chico siempre quiere cosas del árbol, pero él nunca ésta satisfecho. Esta me enseño que las cosas materiales no son la repuesta a la amistad. Tambien me enseño a apreciar las cosas pequeñas de la vida.

Muchas Gracias, Autumn

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