A great disaster had struck, wreaking havoc in the forest. Mere stumps remained where tall majestic trees once stood, and some of those tree stumps were trying to make a comeback recovery to life.
There were various ways that the stumps were trying to grow. One stump was sending up numerous shoots, which reached upwards, eagerly and vigorously. The sun shone down fully on the young shoots, and the stump, which was the foundation of the young trees to be, was still firmly in good soil, with adequate rain. It had a good chance to recover, and eventually grow and prosper, better than ever before.
Then there was the case of a more severely damaged stump, which did not have as much sunlight falling on it, and was not as well rooted. The soil in which it clung was rather poor, and there was little water available to it. But it wanted to survive. All it could muster to do was to send out a single small shoot, humbly growing out of the top of the weathered wood of the stump, steadfastly growing and surviving. It was contented with just being, and that was the best that it could be.
And finally, there was a third tree stump that was very badly damaged, barely rooted in poor, rocky soil. Almost no sunlight fell upon it, and barely any water reached its shriveling roots. This tree stump knew that it would be cruel to try to force a tree to have to try to grow on such a tenuous base, and so it mercifully chose not to send up any shoots, and what life that remained in it withered away.
The choices made by these tree stumps, to attempt to make a comeback or not to attempt to do so, depended on a careful evaluation of the circumstances and prospects of each individual tree stump, and also of their desires.