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Walking today with my wife and dog, I notice a man at work. His nearby truck is lettered with cheerful green colors and slogans about being outside in nature.

In his hand is a small sprayer bottle. I realize he is most likely spraying poison on a neighbor’s lawn.

Before I was diagnosed with leukemia in 2003, I too had an aversion to weeds in my lawn. I bought a spreader and chemical weed killer to get rid of the proliferation of dandelions that populated my grass.

“The deepest fear we have, the fear beneath all fears, is the fear of not measuring up, the fear of judgment. It’s this fear that creates the stress and depression of everyday life.” – Tullian Tchividjian

I looked out at the small yellow flowers and felt an emotion kind of like disgust. It felt like a scar on the beauty of my property and a ratification of my worth as a neighbor and responsible citizen.

“These damn weeds have to go.”

How did I know they were weeds? How did I know they were repellent? How did I know they had to be eradicated?

I was taught to judge by others.

What I thought was my judgment and my choice was in actuality the judgment of someone else. It brought me to the point where I was willing to spend my time and money as well as poison my soil in order to achieve a “perfect lawn”.

Walking past the man with the sprayer bottle in his hand near the cheerful truck with the slogans about nature, I reflected upon my own experience and recent news:

In August the chemical giant Monsanto was ordered to pay $289 million dollars to a former groundskeeper diagnosed with terminal cancer. The jury concluded the 46 year-old man’s sickness was caused by his use of the popular weed killer Roundup.

What is the price we pay for judgment?

Is the body you see in the mirror really fat and disgusting or was this programmed into you?

Are you really too old?

Are Middle Eastern countries dangerous terrorists havens that require vast expenditures in life and treasure in order to protect our own population?

Are you really incapable of that dream you’ve always wanted to realize?

Question the judgments you hold because they may not even be yours at all and they may be holding you back.

You may even look out at the dandelions one day and suddenly see beauty.

I do…

girl in the grass
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