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A Rock or a Tree?

Have you ever played the popular party game “Would You Rather?” It is a game where a person has to make a decision, usually between two very appealing, unpleasant, or otherwise tricky choices. The questions are bound to get someone thinking hard as they try to choose.

What is the draw of playing a game of hypotheticals?

"Would You Rather" questions can initiate bonding, break the ice between two people, and liven up a party. It usually evolves into some amazing conversations when people ask “why” after a question is asked. The game is a great way to get to know people as the answers given often reveal little parts of the person's inner being, what they value, what drives them in life and what they consider important. It forces players to articulate their beliefs and preferences. The game has been around since the 1960s when Psychologists used “would you rather” questions during studies of motivation and studies of behavior in children.

A game of hypotheticals is more than just having a few good laughs and passing time with friends. What if you could learn a bit about yourself by answering one question that goes deeper than a matter of preference?

Let’s try it!

Would you rather be a Tree or a Rock?

Take a moment to THINK about that question. Try writing down your answer and the reasons WHY you picked either tree or rock before reading on.


Did you choose Tree?

Trees are beautiful, living, and add color to our lives. They provide a valuable contribution to the ecosystem as they provide essential basic needs such as shelter, shade, and fruit. They are constantly growing, striving to find light, and adapting to the environment around them. Trees attract birds, butterflies, young kids who try to climb them, and weary tired souls who want to rest against them.

They have roots that ground them, some run very deep and others are more shallow. While these roots provide stability they are fluid and can be flexible in the wind. Trees can be self-sustaining, however, other people can feed them, water them, and nurture them to help them grow. Some trees even bleed sweet syrup that other people like to enjoy.

Many trees go through cycles of transformation as the seasons change. Some trees even have challenges they overcome, such as a disease, and become beautiful and grow again. Other trees may lose their vibrancy and lushness, yet remain rooted and live a long time. Some trees change shape in harsh elements and grow stronger or twist and become more intricate as they get older.

People who chose rock might say that trees are unable to move, and they can break in half during a difficult storm. They can die from diseases, man-made destruction, or they can be cut down to pieces. They typically grow old and die.


Did you choose Rock?

Rocks are a collection of small mineral grains that grow or become cemented together that are solid, strong, sturdy, supportive and withstands pressure. Rocks give us clues about the past and help keep the earth balanced.

They are constant, persistent, stand firm, and they are grounded. They are resilient, can hold a lot of weight, and withstand multiple seasons. Rocks can be held or they can provide support. They often have a durable outer wall that is resistant to weathering, that protects the delicate and beautiful interior. A rock can be beautiful on the outside, or it can be carved to find the beauty hidden on the inside. You can view a rock from many angles and always see something new.

Rocks change slowly by their environment unless a sudden force of nature comes over it. It takes a much larger storm to break a rock. People hold on to rocks for support, lie on them for rest, and climb them to seek renewal, transformation, healing, and feel the energy they can carry. They provide habitats for animals, soil for gardens to grow, and make the roads and paths people use to get from one destination to another.

Rocks can be used to build a structure that stands the test of time or make innovative and useful tools. Rocks can travel and can adapt easily to their new environment, they can be moved but then remain calm and rest.

People who chose trees might say that rocks are so common we take them for granted. They can be dull and colorless. Rocks may look tough at the time being, but they can erode over time and be washed away by the same environmental things that created it.



After reading both descriptions, would you make the same choice? Did you choose a tree and now think on second thought why not a rock? Or did you choose rock, and now wonder, why not a tree? Were you torn and having a difficult time making a decision because you see value in both? What core values in life do you think match up to the tree and the rock?

Reflecting on the question is a very personal experience and one person may see this differently than another because we all look at the world through different lenses and everyone has their own cognitive bias. Below is just one perspective of possible core values that might match up to each of the choices. What would you add or change?

Values are a part of us and highlight what we stand for. Values represent our unique, individual essence, and guide our behavior. When we live according to our values consistently, we will feel fulfilled.

What are your values? Would you rather be a Tree or a Rock?

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