Ralph Waldo Emerson
“You are the weed in my garden of knowledge”…and thus one of my favorite high school teachers kicked me out of her humanities class…I think I was just talking to someone. She made me go stand in the hall which was really not that bad as I could still talk to whomever passed by.
I have always loved her nice way of setting me straight. She did not yell at me. She did not shake her finger at me. In a nice but matter of fact way she solved the problem of me disrupting the class while at the same time avoiding a blistering and harsh condemnation of my soul.
In fact it was almost comical the way she said it. It catches you off guard and makes you think of something besides the disrupting behavior I was displaying. It was so clever and well said that I remember it more clearly that any lesson she ever taught in class.
What does it mean to be the weed? We normally associate that with being unwanted and in need of removal. However, since it was a humanities class I think I will take the liberty to take the title “weed” and interpret it as a compliment. Perhaps she was just saying that I was a non-conformist and that her garden of knowledge was holding me back. Perhaps she was saying that I was a survivalist and that her garden of knowledge was slowing me down. Perhaps she was challenging me to discover my hidden virtues that were muffled by the bland nature of her garden of knowledge.
Or perhaps she was just trying to get me to shut up so she could get on with her class. Sometimes there are profound and deep thoughts that we need to ponder to get
the most out of life. However, it gets a little frustrating when we make simple things harder and more complex than what they really are…sometimes we just think too much!
I attended a philosophy class in college and on the first day (and last day for me) the professor asked us a question that went something like this: “How do you know that right now we are in reality dreaming and that what we think is our dream is in reality reality?” For a country boy like me that question seemed like a waste of time. But not for the class. Someone piped up… “but first we need to define what reality really means”. I dropped the class.
Though it is nice to seek the profound, do not be found to be the pro thinker and not the pro ducer. Think and work. Think while you work. Think on the drive home from work. Be a weed if you want but don’t waste a lot of time being a profound weed. Just survive and grow and do what you were meant to do and most things will work out just fine.
HighFive Your Life Principle: Though it is nice to seek the profound, do not be found to be the pro at all thinking and no productivity. Think while you work.