The Giant Sequoia trees that grow in the California Sierra Nevada Mountains are the largest living things on earth. They are also the oldest, some of them as much as 2,000 years old. What is the secret to their great age? One of their secrets is their strong, yet soft, outer bark that protects them from disease and from forest fires. No other tree in the forest has this type of bark. We can take a valuable lesson from the Giant Sequoias, because like them, we will have to face many kinds of challenges during our lifetimes. There are disease forces in the world that seek to undo our moral and spiritual values, and there are fires that threaten to burn away our confidence and well-being. Will we survive? We will if we have developed character that is both strong and soft: strong enough to stand against violence and injustice, yet soft enough to assist others who need a helping hand. When you think of the Giant Sequoia standing proudly over all the other trees of the forest, remember its secret and know that it can be your secret too.