How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Weedeating

I hated to weedeat. I never wanted to do it again. I thought that if I killed the grass, I wouldn’t have to do it again. Every spin of the plastic blades was murder. I wanted the grass to die. And it did.

But something worse returned.

Bare ground, like power, abhors a vacuum. There is always a nefarious weed seed ready to grow in place of the previous grass. But unlike grass, weeds grow at a faster rate, and in weirder directions.

erich-weed-eating

Instead of simply trimming the grass, now I had to trim the tops and sides of the crazy-haired weeds. They too would have to die. But there was nothing I could do to kill them. It was me who had to change.

Instead of fighting the grass, I would work with it. Instead of trying to kill the grass, I would simply trim it back. Two things happened: I started to actually enjoy weedeating and the grass didn’t die.

Zen masters who trim bonsai trees seek, “a kind of oneness with nature and with the universe” and they used it as a discipline to aid enlightenment. Trimming bonsai trees was also used as a means to meditate.

When you’re out weedeating you have a lot of time to think. This time can be used to appreciate nature and practice an attitude of gratitude or it can be used to be vengeful and hate your life. I’ve done both.

Thomas Campbell, physicist, author, and expert on consciousness, believes love is the opposite of fear and love lowers entropy while fear increases entropy. 1 John 4:18 says, “perfect love drives out fear.”

When we decide to love what we are doing and change our attitude about work, we reduce entropy and help bring harmony to our lives and the lives around us. In this, I’m reminded of this poem from 1100 A.D.:

When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world.
I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation.
When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town.
I couldn’t change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family.
Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself,
and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself,
I could have made an impact on my family.
My family and I could have made an impact on our town.
Their impact could have changed the nation and
I could indeed have changed the world.”
by Unknown Monk, 1100 A.D.

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