The warm weather is here, and the great outdoors has so many lessons for us to teach our children while we are out and about!
As I was planting the vegetable garden in our yard, the following thought came to me:
Weeds are easy.
There’s no need to till the ground, add special nutrients to the soil, put up gates to keep out the deer, or water the weeds. No, none of that is necessary at all. The weeds just grow on their own. What could be easier?
On the other hand, lots of effort is required to plant strong and healthy tomato plants. (As my broken nails and scrapes can attest to!) Since the soil in Baltimore is acidic, I added lime to the potting mix. Let’s not even talk about tilling hard soil filled with tree roots! Staking the plants, watering, fertilizing, keeping the hungry animals away… getting buckets filled with homegrown tomatoes takes quite a bit of effort.
And that’s exactly the point of this little article:
The negative stuff comes easily. Like fast growing weeds, it’s easy to complain, get angry, or worry incessantly.
The positive stuff takes effort. It doesn’t come naturally to swallow our anger and stay calm in the face of adversity. It takes quite a bit of effort to see the positive side of life and avoid complaining about the negatives.
And, as nature has shown us, weeds are easy.
When we lose ourselves in anger and complaints, we’re just letting weeds grow wild. When we make the effort to see our glasses as half-full and keep impulsive reactions of anger under wraps by maintaining a calm disposition, we are growing our personal self-development garden.
Next time your child throws a tantrum (or next time you do!), show her the weeds outside. It’s easy to lose control and kick and scream. Tending to strong plants, like displaying calm reactions, takes effort. This is the kind of effort that results in fulfilling relationships, many real friendships, and internal peace of mind.
Ellen C. Braun