(Outrage) Fire as a Catalyst for Rebirth

Kent Dahlgren
2 min readSep 28, 2020

Let’s cleanse the mental palate and talk a moment about wildfires.

Many people resist change, especially if they consider it destructive, or if they don’t understand or even agree with it.

But change is inevitable, and resistance to change creates a growing tension that can (and will) spark into flames.

I grew up among Oregon’s forests, and uncontrolled wildfires have been suppressed since the early 1900's.

Fire can be damaging, and very scary, so for decades it’s been policy to resist the inevitable periodic blaze the indigenous had utilized their stewardship of the land for millennia.

Fire serves as a catalyst for growth and change, and it cannot be avoided for long before it asserts itself with great inevitability.

Sure, fire is uncomfortable, but did you know that some pine cones won’t even open, and new trees cannot grow, until they are exposed to a fire’s heat?

In other words: fire isn’t necessarily bad, even if it is scary.

Serotinous pine cones are closed tightly and sealed with a thick resin which melts away when exposed to a fire’s heat, thus facilitating a cycle of rebirth.

That burning outrage in your chest? This is necessary for rebirth, and I’ll explain how.

The current situation isn’t new to the current year: these conditions have festered dangerously for years, only now sparking into an inferno.

I’ve been involved in grassroots political advocacy since the 1980’s, and I’ve studied the failures and successes of citizen-led initiatives for most of my adult life.

Guess what?

As with serotonous pine cones in the wake of a fire, every successful endeavor is sparked by and birthed within the heat and discomfort that occurs in response to change.



Kent Dahlgren

Product management fix-it guy. World-famous people skills. Extremely small hands. (edit) marketing lady says I’m also supposed to say “CEO of software company”