This is one of the entrances to the Metro (subway) station in Silver Spring, Maryland. Note the 2 clumps of green plants behind the 2 trees on the muddy mound of soil. Until about 3 years ago that entire mound was covered with those plants. Then, the start of a construction on the other side of the station, where the main entrance is, caused a large increase in pedestrian traffic in and out of this entrance.
Since the rushing commuters, I am among them, often tend to take the shortest paths to their destinations, instead of walking around the plant bed, we started cutting across it with total disregard for the plants underneath our shoes. Seeing this, the station management removed a section of the plants and laid down a gravel path for us. That worked for a while, but during heavy rains the path, being lower than the surrounding mound, began to get flooded. So we started trampling over the plants again.
Now the only remaining plants are the ones behind the trees. They have survived, because the trees would block the way of anyone attempting to walk across those plants.
In nature and also in our lives, unforeseen circumstances often dictate the outcome of crucial events. A chance event, not always a growing treen but sometimes a a falling one, for example, determines who survives and who doesn't.