The first time I heard the quote, “The grass is greener where you water it,” was from my husband. He was saying it in regards to relationships, which was even more inspiring to me. I had already known that I married a selfless man, but even after all the crud he has endured being married to a less-than-selfless woman, here he was still championing the idea of “watering our lawn.” This is the type of man you want to marry and I’m so glad I did.
Since I heard that quote, it has resonated in my heart. It’s a much more optimistic take than it’s “original” counterpart, “the grass is always greener on the other side.” The biggest difference between the two quotes, as I see it, is accountability. This matter of accountability is among the top lessons I want my children to learn.
COMMERCIAL BREAK: Writing that last sentence actually makes me wonder – if I had to choose five, or even ten, principles I want my children to learn, what would they be? And, am I doing my part to make sure they’re learning those principles at home? Hmmm…something I should ponder. Also, I would love to hear your insight on the most crucial principles our children need to learn. NOW BACK TO OUR REGULAR PROGRAMMING.
I think the main reason accountability is such a big deal to me is the mere fact that it seems to be a lost principle in our society. I recall the lyrics of a Jack Johnson song called Cookie Jar released back in 2003 where the blame is continually placed on another. Certainly, there are outside influences in our lives that play a role but we also need to take accountability for our part.
I have read countless stories of heartbreaking and horrific things that have happened in the news. The thing that fascinates me the most is how people choose to move on from their given point. The story of the Coble Family’s tragic event in 2007 haunts me as much today as it did back then when I was only a mother to one. A mother to three then, Lori Coble, had taken her kids to a local mall that I myself attended frequently. Lori’s own mother joined them on the venture. Nap time approached and it was time to drive home. Lori and her mom were in the front seat of her minivan while her three kids, ages five and under, were strapped safely in the back. Traffic had come to an abrupt stop on the freeway, a freeway I often drove myself, and the big rig behind them was not able to stop in time. All three children were killed. The story is heart-wrenching, but I recall the touching remarks made by Lori and her husband, Chris, exemplifying their faith during the aftermath of their unimaginable trial. While they were uncertain how they would even move forward from such a tragedy, I marveled at how well they did move forward. Shortly after their loss, Lori became pregnant with TRIPLETS! The Coble couple had lost a little boy and two girls in the car accident and here they were, just months later, expecting a little baby boy and two baby girls. The triplets were born around the year anniversary of the death of the eldest three Coble children. I wish I knew more of how this family was doing today. My prayer is that the faith that it took for them to move forward in any manner is still a strong impact in their home.
This is just ONE of numerous stories where the victims chose to water their own grass. I will add, and I hope this does not contradict my point, that they did sue those parties whom they felt were at fault for the loss of their children. The action of accountability in this instance, in my mind, is that they did not, to the best of my knowledge, throw in the towel and become bitter and hopeless about their loss. They did not use this tragic event as an excuse to lose their faith or give up on life completely. They went forward trying to re-create the life they loved in the best manner they knew how. They made an effort to replant their grass and water it accordingly.
Perhaps I can offer up a better illustration, and far less tragic, of what I’m trying to say. There are parts of my childhood that I do not believe were healthy for a child to have to experience. While I was not at fault for those circumstances, I would have been at fault for letting them define me or for allowing them to somehow excuse any poor decisions I made in my adulthood. Had I allowed myself to place the blame on my childhood misfortunes for all my wrong doings, I feel I would have been doing myself an injustice. Instead, I chose to seek help. Perhaps I sought it later than I should have, but I did nonetheless and I’m grateful for it. In attending counseling, I was able to make sense of the reality of my childhood. While there are parts that I still deem to have been unhealthy, I feel no benefit comes from blaming. I actually feel stronger having not placed blame.
Obviously, my own story pales in comparison to the horrific one that the Coble family experienced. That’s not the point. The point is that we have two options in life when a trial, of any magnitude, hits us. We can choose to sit on our side and complain about our own lawn and feel resentment for the prettier (or perceived to be easier maintained) lawn on the other side or we can stand as proudly as possible and water our own lawn.
Whatever phase your “grass” is currently facing, it can become green again. It may take some replanting on your part or merely some watering, but it can be done. And, heck, if you find yourself in the fortunate circumstance of enjoying your own lush grass, perhaps shoot some water over to the other lawns that can use some refreshing. A little “water” goes a long way and how beautiful the world could be if we all enjoyed the blessings of green grass.