the parrot tree

The Parrot Tree

a space for bonding, raising awareness and engaging in purposeful activities

at-the-fire-pit-of-the-parrot-tree

About

Parrot Tree is our last stop in a multiple year long journey, in which we tried to improve the outlook for our children and for all children of the world. It is our answer to the conflict which many families face: being in need of more nature, but unable to abandon the city. It is our way of connecting with the land, people and ourselves.

We have chosen the parrot tree, because although parrots build individual homes, they spend much time in larger flocks in specific trees. These trees are to parrots what the third place is to humans: a space different from home and work; a space where we spend down-time and build genuine communities. The original concept of the third place has been undermined in recent years through Wework, Starbucks and Wanda malls.

The green-winged Macaw parrot is our mascot, because this highly intelligent bird shines in the three colors which represent the three pillars on which our philosophy rests:

Pillars

Bonding

In the late 1940s, psychologists Leon Festinger, Stanley Schachter, and sociologist Kurt Back began to wonder how friendships form. Why do some strangers build lasting friendships, while others struggle to get past basic platitudes? Some experts, including Sigmund Freud, explained that friendship formation could be traced back to infancy, where children acquire the values, beliefs, and attitudes that would bind or separate them later in life. Festinger, Schachter and Back believed though that physical space was the key to friendship formation; that friendships are likely to develop on the basis of brief and passive contacts made going to and from home or walking about the neighborhood. In their view, it wasn’t so much that people with similar attitudes became friends, but rather that people who passed each other during the day tended to become friends and so came to adopt similar attitudes over time.

The researchers devised a famous long term experiment in their students’ dormitory. They tracked how and with whom friendships formed and at the end of each semester, after students had moved into their rooms and analyzed the locations and distances respectively between those who formed friendships and those who don’t. Festinger, Schachter and Beck would confirm their assumptions: spatial proximity is the first denominator to decide if friendships form or not; attitudes are secondary. They even found that students who live close to an elevator or a staircase are more popular than those whose room is located in the dead end of an aisle, because there is a higher probability to run into others. This human condition is now called propinquity.

Despite the overwhelming scientific evidence that human beings need a variety of strong relationships to lead healthy and satisfied lives, modern architecture and city planning follows an economic instead of a social paradigm. Buildings are geared towards profit maximization and reflect the gradual dissolution of social entities like tribes, villages and extended families. 50% of Americans live in single households, 96% of Japanese live in cities. China and India are eager to catch up because the trajectory of industrialized nations promises GDP growth. Open and public spaces are mostly designed to show off national or municipal grandeur rather than offering opportunities for authentic interaction. Most urban areas center around a small number of attractions which are connected by traffic arteries with the suburbs, out of which one can only escape by car. We have built an environment which is detrimental to physical and mental health.

If you join us in a Parrot Tree we hope that you will leave with new acquaintances or even friends, because we try to design time and space to let bonding happen.

Awareness

Parrots are birds which do not build nests, but instead use cavities and consider these their only territory during breeding season. The rest of the year they can often be seen in large flocks sitting on trees which they treat as open spaces for social interaction very much like humans would go about a public park or a camp ground.  The tree is for us not only a symbol for a common space in which we can freely and respectfully interact, but also an analogy for our home, planet earth.

Psychologist Daniel Goldman wrote that “In a system there are no side effects – just effects, anticipated or not. What we see as “side effects” simply reflects our flawed understanding of the system. In a complex system cause and effect may be more distant in time and space than we realize. […] Much of the time people attribute what happens to them to events close in time and space, when in reality it’s the result of the dynamics of the larger system within which they are embedded. […] At one time, the survival of human groups depended on ecological attunement. Today we have the luxury of living well using artificial aids. Or seem to have the luxury. For the same attitudes that have made us reliant on technology have lulled us into indifference to the state of the natural world – at our peril.

Educator Sir Ken Robinson once said that “We are currently facing the two biggest crisis in the history of our planet: the crisis of human resources, and the crisis of natural resources. Both crisis are just as severe, have the same origin and need to be addressed with the same seriousness.”

If you to spend your time at the Parrot Tree you will increases your awareness of the systems which truly matter: your own, your family’s and mother earth’s.

Purpose

Not only objects, but also human beings can be studies in regard to their aim and purpose. This is what neurologist Viktor Frankl, famous for his concentration camp account Man’s Search for Meaning, did and why he founded logotherapy, a school of psychotherapy which claims that human well-being is intrinsically connected to living a responsible and purposeful life.

Life today seems ruled to a troubling degree by impulse; a flood of ads drives us, bottom-up, to desire a sea of goods and spend today without regard to how we will pay tomorrow. The reign of impulse for many goes beyond overspending and over-borrowing to overeating and other addictive habits, from bingeing on Twizzlers to spending countless hours staring at one or another variety of digital screen. Researchers find that the prevalence of obesity in the US over the last thirty years tracks the explosion of computers and tech gadgets in people’s lives – and suspect this is no accidental correlation. Life immersed in digital distractions creates a near constant cognitive overload. And that overload wears out self-control.

The question is thus how we can regain self-control. Neuroscience has confirmed that our brain works like a muscle and can be trained. It continually reorganizes itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. This phenomenon is known as neuroplasticity. Our brain can not only recover after e.g. a stroke, but it can also adapt substantially either because our environment requests us to OR because we request it to adapt to avoid changes in the environment. It is in this purpose that bonding and nature merge; it is in this purpose that the human resource and the natural resource crisis experience a resolution.

If you join us on the Parrot Tree you will be part of purposeful and enjoyable activities for all ages, which aim at  securing the survival of the next generation.

Address, directions & pre-arrival notice

Please download and read the below pdf, you will find valuable indication that will make your stay more enjoyable.

Looking forward to sharing with you.

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