Mark had recently moved to the Creekside neighborhood. Each morning, on his way to work, he would look across the street and admire the lush green lawn of his neighbor Alex. Mark always wondered how Alex managed to consistently keep his lawn tidy and green. He said to himself, “I have a lawn to, but it does not look green, infact my lawn is brownish with lots of patches in between. I wonder how Alex does this. Clearly, there must be some secret or magic potion behind this greenness”. This daily admiration and mind battle persisted in his mind for 3 months until he eventually decided to inquire directly from Alex the secret behind his green lawn. So, on one fine Spring day in May, he knocked on Mr. Alex’s door with hesitation and excitement. He hesitated because he was uncertain if Alex would let him in uninvited, but he was also excited at the prospect of finally discovering the “secret”. It was the latter emotion that kept him waiting and knocking on Alex’s door for 10 minutes. Feeling defeated, he was about to walk way when he heard what sounded like footsteps thumping down the stairs. Who is it? the voice roared from inside the house. It’s me Mark, your neighbor, I just wanted to stop by to say hello and to ask you an important question. I could really use your help. Okay, he said, give me a minute and I would be right with you.
Marks face beamed with excitement as he walked indoors. How can I help you, Alex asked? Well, I have been wondering about your green grass and admiring it from a distance for some time now. I would like to keep my lawn green as well and was hoping you could share with me the secret. Aaaaahhhhh, well, you guessed right, Mark. There is a secret to this greenery, unfortunately this is not a good time. I am due for a medical appointment and would need to be out the door in 5 minutes. Can you stop by next Saturday morning at 10am? The secret is buried in the backyard and I would be able to show it all to you. Alright, then, Mark retorted. I will see you next Saturday. Throughout that week, Mark could not hide his excitement and anticipation. He began counting down until it was Saturday. At exactly 9:59am, the doorbell rang at Alex’s house and yes, it was Mark at the door. I’ve been ready all week, shall we go to the backyard? Of course, come along, Alex responded, I can’t wait to show you my tricks. Mark was expecting a quick fix to his problem but alas, nothing was further from the truth. He watched as Alex brought out different types of fertilizers, weed control pesticide, a lawn mower and sod. You see Mark, lawn care requires a dedicated effort consisting of fertilization, regular maintenance and the ability to troubleshoot problems as they arise. Every other morning in the Spring and Summer, while most are asleep, I wake up to water the grass. This way, I can be assured that most of the water will seep into the ground rather than evaporate in the hot air. Next, I look out for weeds and I get rid of them with this pesticide. Whenever I notice bare spots, I apply sod to fix the problem. Finally, depending on the season, I mow the lawn either weekly or biweekly. These are but a few of the regular maintenance performed on this lawn; it’s called manicuring your grass.
And yes, this is the big reveal you have been waiting for, the reveal of patience and persistence beautifully manifested through a lush green lawn. Astounded, Mark exclaimed, geez, oh my goodness, Alex, this sounds like a lot of work. I have never seen you mow the lawn, sod the bare spots or even water the plants. When do you do all of this? Well, I’m an early riser so I do most of my lawn work when either no one is watching or when most are away. A lot of people admire my lawn but only few consider the workload that goes into creating this beauty. That day, Mark walked away from Alex’s home feeling confused; that was not the kind of response he was expecting. On the 5 min walk home, he kept oscillating between joy and sadness. On the one hand, he was hopeful that he could exert the required energy to transition his dreary looking lawn into something lush but on the other, he was sad that he would have to sacrifice some pleasures for him to actualize his dream. After a restless night sleep, he woke up with a final conviction and he wrote a note to himself. It read:
On this 18th day of May, 2017, I Mark, upon careful consideration have decided not to pursue my desire of having a lush lawn. I realize that although I admire them, I have neither the time to work towards it nor the resources to pay another for its ongoing maintenance. I have therefore decided to be content with the state of my lawn until further notice.
The next day, as he set off for work, Mark looked across 1 more time and saw the green lawn in Alex’s backyard. This time, he admired not just the beautiful greenery but rather, the hard work and persistence shining through that grass. One day, he said, just maybe one day, I will be as committed as Alex.
Morale of the Story
Green grass doesn’t just happen
Take time to water and manicure your own grass. You will be the primary recipient of the benefits.
What you don’t feed, cannot grow (this applies to both positive and negative situations).
When you admire someone else’s life and wish you were just like them, take time to learn their story. It will surprise you the sacrifices they have had to make to attain those heights.
Don’t be deceived, there is a reward for patience and rightful persistence.
Spend time on valuable things