A third facet of the broad TMOD theme

In our last two posts, we covered about two facade of our broad TMOD theme. Find them here and here.

We will present here the third and final facet of the broad theme. This one covers trees. Check it out.


Let’s do a little bit of brain storming together,

I want all of you to think and tell me all the benefits that we get from trees. One at a time, just raise your hand if you have anything to say –

1) Oxygen – of course otherwise we would all have to carry oxygen cylinders with us.

2) Food – The reason why I myself live – delicious food.

3) Pollution – They absorb CO2 and pollutants like sulphur dioxide, ammonia etc.

4) Prevent soil erosionRoots of trees hold soil tightly which prevents erosion.

5) Medicines – Many components in medicines are actually derived from trees. In face it is widely believed that we may have lost the cure to diseases like AIDS and cancer due to extinction of some trees that had immense medicinal value.

6) Nonfood products like wood, rubber, paper, etc

7) Shade – protection from harmful UV Rays.

Like typical humans, we have plucked all the low hanging fruits. Let us go higher and think about the coconuts, the difficult ones.

8) Help prevent climate change – While giving out oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide, trees are also helping maintain the balance in the atmosphere and prevent climate change – something that we are losing because carbon dioxide is increasing and trees are reducing.

9) Bio diversity – studies show that just one tree in an otherwise flat green land brings about 80 species of birds in the area. In fact it is said that the older the trees, the older the forest, the greater the biodiversity in the region.

10) Trees reduce violence – studies have shown that areas that have trees show significantly less violence than barren neighborhoods. In fact just the mere presence of trees makes people happy and reduces levels of fear, increases unity among them

11) Trees help in healing – Patients that are in company of trees show faster signs of healing.

12) Trees increase property values – Just the presence of beautiful trees in your property increases the property value by 15%. Infact, even businesses that have trees in their vicinity show higher footfalls than those that don’t.

So basically trees are like the Rajinkant of earth – just the mere presence does wonders. They provide so much value that if all the trees on earth built a corporation and start charging for things they give us  – they would dwarf the Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Mukesh Ambanis of the world put together,  both in money and height – because trees are tall you know.

But of course God made trees to be selfless which means they would be a nonprofit organization. Which would mean that they provide us more benefits than Wikipedia and Toastmasters itself. And we as toastmasters know that if something provides us more benefit than Wikipedia and toastmasters, they win hands down.

So let’s just talk about ourselves – Toastmasters. For the benefit of guests, let me explain how a Toastmaster meeting functions. The meeting is divided into three parts. The first part consists of prepared speeches, where members prepare for a speech in advance, get it mentored and deliver the same. The second part is the exciting, table topic session where any one form the audience including the guest can come up and speak on a topic given by our table topic master for 1 to 2 minute. And the final part is the most important evaluation section where our general evaluator for the day will give a report card on the entire meeting – what went good and what went bad. Please put a round of applause for TM Name.

Once the General Evaluator is done explaining his role, you may start the Prepared Speech session. After all Prepared Speeches are done, you may continue with the theme as under.

Now we all agree that trees are magnificent beings and we need more and more of them in our planet. But would you believe that there was a time when trees actually became a menace and almost destroyed all other life forms.

Almost 43 crore years ago, trees were very different from today. Trees were just evolving then and were at their very primitive stage. These trees had two problems – 1) they grew very tall almost 160 ft but with very shallow roots due to which they kept falling on their own in large numbers. And 2) their wood and branches were covered with a very tough fiber called lignin. Now imagine yourself in a planet where billions of trees are just lying around fallen in the forest and billions more are standing tall, waiting to fall. You might think that the trees would naturally decompose but there is another problem – the lignin. Bacteria that could crack this tough fiber and decompose the tree had not yet evolved. It was the only time during our planets history when more than necessary CO2 was locked inside these fallen trees, and oxygen increased in the atmosphere to 35% unlike today’s 20% causing a global cooling.

Enter Charles Darwin’s evolution theory. A certain type of fungus called agaricomycetes – a distant cousin of mushroom evolved. It developed the capacity to break down the tough lignin and decay the wood playing a very important role in reversing atmospheric conditions and advancing life forms on earth.

By the way a very interesting side effect of all of this is the coal that we mine today. With all the trees falling on top of each other for millions of years, their weight caused them to compress into peat and turn into coal – something that humanity has used for their advancement all along. So it’s fair to say all happens for the good.

Just like your volunteering for the table topics. It’s time to invite the Table Topic Master for the day TM Name.

Once the Table Topic session is over, continue with the theme as under.

Trees are no less weird than human. They have indeed some strange qualities. For ex the gingko trees in Japan survived the Hiroshima nuclear bombing despite being just 1 km away from the explosion. In fact soon after the nuclear bomb exploded, it was found that the tree became healthy again and survives till today.

In fact if the conditions are right many trees continue to grow without getting old. Even when getting old, trees have a magical property of slowing down the ageing process without any anti-ageing cream of course. Which is why the oldest tree we have is a pine tree in California which is 5064 years old. By contrast even Jesus Christ is supposed to have died 2000 years back, pyramids were build 4500 years back and the Stonehenge was supposed to have been constructed 5000 years back. To add, this tree survived Julius Ceaser, Hitler, Napoleon and is looking at Donald trump with hope.

But even weirder is a Spruce tree in Sweden. This tree is 9550 years old – older than written history of earth and still does not have the tag of being the oldest tree in the world. That’s because while its roots are 9550 year old, its trunk and branches have regenerated over the years through a process called cloning and are just few hundred years old.

With this its time to invite the general evaluator to present his evaluation.

Once the evaluation session is over, you may conclude the theme with the following remarks.

There is no denying that trees are vital to us humans and this earth. And we human are not one bit as selfless as trees. So let us not pretend and just be as humans are – selfish. Let’s us all plant one tree. It can be a small plant at our flats or better a giant tree in a land anywhere – in your factory premise or lands back in your native place. And no it’s not for these dumb organisms called plants or for the birds. No, it’s for yourselves. They will filter the air in your house free of cost. They will even increase the land value without demanding any share when you sell it. It will even relieve you of stress and BP lowering your doctor bills. Best part – it is all low maintenance. Just sow a seed, and water them sometimes. These selfless beings will do everything on their own. And yes you even get to brag that you have done your bit to save this earth. Feel free to post pictures on Instagram to inspire others too.

It’s time now for the awards.

By now, I hope your are clear on how a broad theme can be used to easy your TMOD theme worries. So go ahead, find your broad theme and rock your TMOD sessions in days to come.

Let us know in the comments below how was your experience of using a broad TMOD theme.


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