Can you believe something as simple and beautiful as a leaf can cause discord?
Well this is not so much about nature, as it is about human nature. Hi, and welcome to the Les Perras podcast episode 366 about altercations over leaves.
In temperate climates, where trees have leaves they fall off every fall. There's a flurry of activity in the air. Leaves are blowing off the trees and flying everywhere. They are blowing willy-nilly onto lawns and yards and streets.
So there are many leaf problems in the fall. People who don't have many trees on their land, may have many leaves on their land. The leaves may fall off trees, whose branches are reaching out over their yard. Or perhaps the wind is blowing the leaves onto their land indiscriminately. Course having a tall fence might help some of this problem but in many countries fences around your land is not standard or there may be a fence around your backyard, but not around the front.
Leaf owners are seen to be the culprit. The offending tree stands on their yard and they are the owner of their yard and they are the owner of the tree so they are the owner of the leaves. Of course legal rules change from one place to another but generally the leaf owner is the person who has the tree. That means they also have the responsibility for the leaves, but that depends on which state or country you live in.
Now, the owners have to be fair. They can't expect everybody to tolerate leaves falling off their trees; The non-owners after all, are innocent. They did nothing at all and they are getting stuff dumped on their land. This could lead them to feel a little bit upset. But at the same time fairness also requires us to think about the leaf owner. After all, they didn't ask the tree to drop the leaves and they didn't ask the wind to blow the leaves away. A lot of the falling and blowing happens when the owner is not there, it seems to me to be unreasonable to ask every tree owner to put a net over their tree in the fall when the leaves are falling off. This is unreasonable work and quite a bit more work than simply gathering up the leaves after they have fallen.
People simply jump to the level of anger when they see leaves on their land that aren't from their trees. They immediately go into the victim state which can in many cases jump to defensiveness and anger. Feeling angry is one thing, however, acting on your anger is another, and there was even a case where an angry man walked over to another man's yard, confronted him with a gun and ultimately shot him in the head and killed him. Now this kind of anger is unusual, but it does represent the state that many people are feeling inside. Even if they don't act on their anger, they're feeling the anger which can stew inside them for months or even years.
There is no easy solution to this problem. However, there is a difficult solution. Taking a few deep breaths and stopping to think about the other person's situation. If you are the offended party, you might stop and think about how the offender couldn't possibly have stopped the leaves in the last 24 hours because they were at work. If you're the owner of the tree, you have to stop and think how the other person might feel when they come home and see their tidy beautiful yard littered with ugly leaves that they didn't ask for and they don't want. In fact, maybe the leaves have fallen on their freshly cleaned yard and they felt that all their work was for nought. This type of response tends to make us grow and become more mature. It also lends a hand to solving the problem and letting people talk out a solution rather than resorting to anger and confrontation. Do you have leaves on your yard? Are they from your tree or are they from a neighbors tree and how do you feel about it? Thanks for listening.