I saw an excellent example of the Wood element last night on BBC TV. In a programme on BBC2 called “Mary Queen of Shops”, the presenter, Mary Portas, had been asked to help a woman who runs an independent bakery in London now under threat from the local supermarkets armed with their much larger selection of specialist bakeries. Mary’s task is to try and identify what could be called a shop’s unique selling point, and encourage the owner to change their approach. You can watch the programme for yourselves on BBC iplayer, and you can see that, although the owner originally asked for help, she is determined from the start to prove that she knows better than Mary. So the whole hour-length programme shows the battle which arises between Mary’s attempts to guide the owner towards the necessary changes and the shop-owners’s steely determination not to change anything she has been doing “for 26 years”, the leitmotiv of everything she said. It seems obvious that the shop-owner and the presenter are both Wood people, neither happy to cede ground to the other, and both quite enjoying the ensuing fight. As a counterbalance to this, there is also the baker himself, who is sidelined by the two battling women, but I think is soft Earth, just getting on with things in the middle and trying not to get involved.
It is amusing and rather sad to watch, because of what it shows of human frailty and Wood’s inability to “see” when it is out of control, as this woman so definitely is during the programme. You could say that she made the wrong decisions and was a bad planner, first in contacting Mary Portas for help and then not planning for the effect of this help. But it teaches us more about Wood in an hour than we would learn in a year’s study of what is written about the element.
These are the kind of TV programmes which any five element acupuncturist or student should be watching, ones in which people are under stress and show all those unbalanced sides of themselves which place their elements in starker relief than normal.