A tree attempts to grow earnestly until something stops it. A landslide may undermine its root structure causing it to tip. It will continue to grow until it falls over too far and it can no longer resist gravity. The tree crashes to the ground in a destructive fall. The point at which the tree begins to fight the fall is the “tipping point.”

People also have tipping points.

Everyone who tries to live in Klamath first wants to feel part of the community. They will try all sorts of ways to be involved in positive ways, from joining a club to working on community projects. Such are the incredible resources of enthusiasm that can be wrangled from a collective of residents who feel good about their community. Some of those people work in groups, some in isolation. In either case, whether they continue to feel good about their community rests on how they are treated. Are they supported in their growth? Or is their footing undermined?

There’s no consistent formula for when a person reaches a tipping point. It can be from the stress of assault from multiple sources in small doses, or it can be caused by a big player engaged in an evil play. As the tipping point approaches, resentment begins to surface: the early warning. Pushed past the tipping point, there are only two options: fight or flight. Most people leave Klamath. Others fight back against those who were responsible for toppling their existence in the community, for condemning their livelihood out of ignorance or spite. The community is implicated because without sanction, the perpetrators would not have been able to carry out such actions. When the community abandons victims in favor of the perpetrators who are hidden in plain sight, they are just as guilty. For these transgressions there is no justice, only malice that simmers and stews until satiated.

Trees fall daily in the forest that are scarcely noticed. When humans tip over, the Internet can carry their cry for justice against an unjust society and to promote the vigilance necessary to save others from such a fall.

In the presence of tyranny, everyone is at risk of reaching a tipping point. Guard against it, or you too, will fall.