Trees and Axes

The danger of familiarity

Daniel Asuquo
4 min readFeb 26, 2021


Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

When the trees saw the Axe, they welcomed him because he looked like them

We’ve heard the story a lot of times. From Tarzan, to black-on-black brutality, to dishonest politicians. The story always has the same ring to it. We hear things like “I thought they had my interest at heart” and “We trusted them”. And so the story has been — Time after time, the Axe comes into the forest and the trees are comfortable because the Axe has a wooden handle; it looks familiar.

Trust is a concept mere humans should not be meddling with — it’s kinda like love; if you dare go near it, either have a lot of knowledge or a lot of resistance to heartbreak. We’ll discuss this in a bit if we have the time. For now, back to the trees and axes.

How many times have heard the following phrase “It’s an inside job?” or you hear the cops ask a victim “is there anybody you know who may want to do this to you?” The point has stayed the same:

Most misfortunes come to us because of someone or something familiar

It’s not that we do not want to be careful, but we are in the habit of ‘letting our guard down’ in the face of familiarity — and it gets us everytime.

I’ll come right out and say it. At this point, I’ll need the reader to have a fast-processing brain and an open mind to see this from the angle I’m about to shine this light.

Celebrities, politicians, and as Ed Sheeran would call them, ‘Beautiful People’ act as though life is amazing for them. The fancy cars and shopping sprees, the lights and the parties. These are great but at what cost where these things attained?

The System

An average person rises up to fame (celebrity ) or power (politician or billionaire) and the rest of the people tend to listen to these famous and powerful people. They say “oh look at him/her. They came from humble beginings; they are like me”. And after that, they (the masses) go out and buy whatever the celebrity or political figure is endorsing.

Do you really like Fizzy drinks? or Cigarettes? or Designer clothes? or is it that a celebrity has made you! LOVE it! How is it that we are told junk food is bad for us and yet every once in a bit we see our favourite celebrities going hard on them on billboards, TV ads, or even in the content they star in? We have an obesity pandemic, our mental health is basically sh*t and we have lost our morals all because of one Axe… I mean… influencial person who came from humble beginnings, and we are following because guess what? We can relate with their story — they are familiar.

Anyways who’s talking about politicians and those who seek to use them in order to take advantage of the masses? Let me tell you the extended version of the Trees and Axes story.

The full story

Once upon a time there was a forest with a whole lot of trees. These trees supported each other and thrived until one day when humans came. These humans were not to be trusted. Even though the trees coudl crush the humans in one swoop, they stood still and observed as they listened to the humans contemplate what to use them for.

“This would be good for furniture” one of the humans said. The other yelled “oh this one would make some fine slab”. The trees stood still and did nothing. They knew the humans had no strength on their own to harm them and after a while, the humans left.

A short while later, the humans returned but this time, they had these wooden instruments with shiny heads. The trees were intrigued. While they saw the humans for what they were, they had never seen these instruments before and they were curious; some even envious. “I wish I had a shiny head just like that” they said.

The end of the story is that the trees started to suffer because they let something familiar, in the hands of the enemy get in. The trees were used for all sorts of things all to the humans benefit and once an axe had a problem, it was quickly replaced. Year after year, the humans returned with prettier axes and the prettier the axe, the more damage it did to its kind. The sad part is that the trees were heartbroken and hurt that something so familiar would cut to deep. What they failed to realize was that the axes were no longer acting of their own accord — they were being controlled by those who took advantage of them and were now taking advantage of the trees using something they were familiar with.


This article is not a piece of advice or a lecture. It is a series of questions that are intended to trigger us to think more critically about our individual lives. I would prefer that we get more conscious with our decisions. I would prefer that we live mindfully while working to make ourselves into our best versions. I would prefer we turn off the mainstream BS every once in a while but what do I know? I don’t have a shiny intruiging head.

I ain’t no Axe.



Daniel Asuquo