Weeds or Wishes

Our oversized lawn, actually more of a mowed pasture, is bedecked with an abundance of dandelions.  A sight to behold.  And as with all sights, beauty or not is in the eye of the beholder.  Sitting on the front porch with my seventeen-year-old granddaughter, we were gazing at the scads of dandelions in all growth phases from green-wrapped buds to glowing yellow flowers to white puffballs.  I commented perhaps needlessly, “There are a lot of dandelions out there”.

My lovely, intelligent, compassionate granddaughter replied, “Yes, there are a lot of wishes out there.”

I was taken aback. Probably because I was thinking that there were just a lot of weeds out there. Weeds or wishes? Was it our age difference? Was it a personality thing – optimism v pessimism? Was it life experience? How could our oh-so-different perception of the ubiquitous yellow flowers be so different?

I will never look at dandelions the same way again. I have learned a new way to see them. How do you view a dandelion?

image credit: Madison White

Respect

While having lunch at a local restaurant, I noticed a woman carrying an overflowing briefcase accompanied by a teenage boy who was obviously not her son. I was sitting close enough to overhear some of their conversation (yeah, I know…shame on me). It seems the woman was a social worker of some sort supposedly helping the young man who was new to the area. Another woman, who was also working in the restaurant as I has seen her pecking on her laptop when I entered, approached their table to discuss her free-lance efforts at saving the world. The second woman was apparently having trouble finding the appropriate free services for her non-paying client, so she asked the paid social worker for advice which the first woman promptly dispatched. This advice was followed by a lengthy conversation about website development, mutual acquaintances, mutual praise, and other gossip. On the face of it, this restaurant seems to be a hotbed of public service providers.

After the second woman left to go off and save some other poor soul, the first woman asked her charge how he liked his food and then proceeded to answer a phone call where she discussed at length another case she was working on. Eventually, she asked the young man if he wanted to go to his school to check on his schedule for the upcoming year and they departed. One wonders what the gist of their meeting was intended to be. 

What struck me about this scenario was that neither the professional nor amateur social worker respected the young man’s time enough to devote the lunch meeting to him and whatever his issues were at the time. Nor did they respect the privacy of their other clients whose issues and names they were bandying about in public.

The moral of this story is two-fold. First, if you are meeting with someone give them your full attention, especially if you are getting paid to meet with them (even if it is only taxpayers or non-profits paying you). Second, just because the person you are paid to meet with is a teenager doesn’t mean they don’t deserve your respect. This goes for small children, elderly persons, handicapped persons, persons of different skin tones, basically everyone. You get the idea. Karma works two ways; don’t tempt her.

photo credit: blog.cognifit.com