July 1
The grass is not, in fact, always greener
on the other side of the fence.  No, not at
all. Fences have nothing to do with it.  The
grass is greenest where it is watered.
When crossing over fences, carry water
with you and tend the grass wherever
you may be.

Robert Fulghum


Today's Meditation:

I like Robert's practical way of looking at the world.  Of course, he's not addressing the metaphorical meaning about envy of the original saying, but that's okay--he's making another important point by turning an old saying on its head.  And he's right--the grass is greenest where it's watered.  When we take care of the things in our lives, when we give them the nutrients and care that they need to grow and thrive, then they shall thrive, and the grass will be green and healthy.

And it truly doesn't matter where the grass is.  A neighbor can need encouragement, and that's grass that we can water.  A co-worker can need to hear some words of friendly and helpful advice, and that's another patch of grass to which we can give water.  A colleague may need some help with a personal problem, and we can water that lawn, too, with the offer of time and help.

Somehow our culture has grown even more obsessed over time with the concept of me-first, the idea of making sure that our grass is greener than any of the neighbors', and we've even come to look at ourselves as somehow lacking as people if one of our neighbors has a nicer-looking lawn than we do.  But communities thrive only when people help each other, without regard to fences or ownership or comparisons.

Wherever I go today or tomorrow, if I carry a small bucket of water with me I can make sure that I'm able to water any grass that I find that needs it.  In my own small, seemingly insignificant way, I can make a contribution to the beauty and health of the entire neighborhood instead of focusing solely on what makes me look better in my own eyes.

Questions to consider:

What might life be like if we always spend it in competition to have greener grass than the neighbors?

Whose grass might you be able to tend just a bit in the next day or two? 

In what ways might you be able to tend the grass of others?

For further thought:

The greatest comfort of my old age, and that which gives me
the highest satisfaction, is the pleasing remembrance of the
many benefits and friendly offices I have done to others.



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