You may think I’m a bit over-the-top but I get ridiculously excited every time I notice a Lichen. “Why?” you may well ask… and I have an answer! It is because Lichen’s represent the best hope for our Planet.

“Lex, that’s as clear as… mud!” Let me explain. Lichens are not one living organism but two that cohabit as one. The two live as one in such harmony that each collaboration can legitimately be identified as a species in their own right.

All Lichens (pronounced like ‘Kitchens’ with an ‘L’ in the UK) are a lifetime collaboration between a fungus and either algae or cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). This creates the perfect ‘marriage’ between very different types. The algae or cyanobacteria have the talent to collect energy from sunlight. The fungi are brilliant at collecting, saving, and sharing water and nutrients, and most fungi are excellent at clinging onto otherwise hostile surfaces. This is why you find Lichens in the most unfavourable environments… thriving.

In Science, this collaboration is called, “Symbiosis.” It is Nature’s highest example of win-win rather than the win-lose model of predator and prey, or parasite and host. The word ‘Symbiosis’ means, “Living Together.” Other examples of Symbiosis include cleaner fish (often Wrasses) that clean giant fish like Groupers or even Killer Sharks! Personal favourites are the bird species that clean the teeth of crocodiles and alligators. For example, Plovers will crawl into the mouth of a crocodile (who will gladly open wide its jaws) to act as Dental Hygienists.

The focus of my delights in this message are on the difference between the two collaborators, and on the mutuality of the benefits. These species that work together towards a win-win are never, ever similar. You don’t get crocodiles cleaning the teeth of other crocodiles!

At Moodscope, we may not have crocodiles or sharks. What we do have is differences that enrich us all so that we can live better together. Sometimes it can be easy to forget that our differences are our strength, and the greater the differences, the greater the opportunities to create a win-win outcome.

What is the greatest strength you bring to Moodscope?

For example, are you a particularly good listener?

Have you suffered much and yet come through the other side in a way that can guide others through the process?

Do you have a deep understand of bipolar disorder?

Are you a good writer who can articulate difficult feelings in a way that others can relate to?

Do you understand grief?

Take off any sense of self-criticism for a moment and consider your strengths. I can guarantee that you have strengths that differ from others here in the Community.

Now, ask yourself, “Who in the Moodscope Community could I add my strengths too, and whose strengths would I most benefit from?”

Let’s make each other stronger.

Oh, and do feel free to post your strength in the comments. Remember, the ‘Proud’ card is a good card in the Moodscope!

A Moodscope member.

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