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Dandelions Can Be People, too

Dandelions Can Be People, too “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” –John Fitzgerald Kennedy

It’s dandelion season here in Prague. Yesterday, with the help of a long metal weed-puller, I dug hundreds of the yellow, thick-rooted weeds from a tiny area of our Prague backyard. (Good therapy, sometimes.) But, when I finished, hardly any grass remained. The section had been all weeds.

I feel like I’ve been digging weeds in other areas of my life, too. Sometimes Dandelions sneak into my life and take much more than they share or give, and I find myself feeling overwhelmed and off-balance.
I think people whose focus is on what they get and believe they deserve are like the Dandelions. Dandelions may look pretty from a distance for a time. But soon, the pretty yellow flower turns into fuzz. And under the surface, their roots sap the nutrients and water from other nearby desirable plants, and are almost impossible to pull. They live to take. Like the physical weeds in the yard, some people harbor deep feelings of entitlement—that they deserve much more than they are getting, and that what they have is never enough.

Dandelions feel cheated. Often.

Surely, we all feel like dandelions sometimes—like we aren’t getting what we need or deserve. And then we begin to take. People might tolerate the taking for a short time, while the weed is small. But no one really wants a dandelion around for long.

Instead, focusing on producing something beautiful, like a grateful and kind spirit—more like the elegant Tulip, this time of year—will help our dandelion tendencies to turn around. From Taker to Giver.

Weeds take. Flowers give.

I can’t think of a more noble cause today—to give and refresh another in this already-difficult journey of life. To discover gratitude instead of resentment, and to spread joy instead of frustration. To be a flower to someone we love.

Starting the conversation: Do you often feel cheated? Do you have ways you turn a frustration into a heart-felt gratitude, and are able to live it out? Find ways this week to show gratitude...

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Oh, Jennifer, I would love

Oh, Jennifer, I would love to sit down and have a good jaw-wag with you about this blog post.

When I was a young child, yellow was my favorite color. I even had my bedroom painted yellow. I thought dandelions were wildflowers, so I'd go out to the yard, pick a fistful, and proudly present them to my mom. As I got older and began to realize the error of my thinking, this became a source of family ribbing.

Maybe part of the challenge for us as adults is to find something beautiful and worthy in our dandelions, since most of the time they will not entirely go away.

I think you were in a rough spot when you wrote this blog post, so I hope you have moved past it by now, Jennifer. Sometimes it takes a long time to find the lessons in our life's trials and adversities but, with time and perspective, usually they can be found. Not always, but often enough to be encouraging.

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Hi Ellen, Thank you for the

Hi Ellen,

Thank you for the encouragement and kind words.

 Yes, rough spots always come. I really like your idea of taking the dandelions and finding the good there, too. But sometimes, when we've tried and tried, and still been beaten down to the ground, we have to smile, bow out, and agree to disagree. 

So, we move on in gratitude ... and admire the dandelions from a distance, perhaps, for a while. :) 

Thanks, again, Ellen. (PS. I love the word jaw-wag. :) )

Sincerely, Jennifer

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One thing I am noticing as I

One thing I am noticing as I age is that there seems to be a tradeoff between acquired wisdom and innocence.  Now I look at a dandelion and see a weed, a scourge.  One learns. 

Same with the human equivalents of dandelions.  And, as I watch the grains of sand fall to the bottom of the hourglass, I realize I have less time left to give those people and so I naturally gravitate toward people who are more positive influences rather than drains on my time, resources, and psyche.  I don't want to look back when I'm 80 and have regrets about how I spent my time and who I spent it with.  And I suppose that is making me a bit pickier than perhaps I once was.

Anyway, not everyone whose path one crosses is meant to be a keeper.  It's healthy to put distance there if the relationship is not wholesome.  But it's not always easy.

Since you are living so far away from your usual support network, I imagine you are experiencing a lot in terms of your relationships.  The old ones are being tested in new ways; the new ones are unproven.  And, yet, there is tremendous upside potential in your choices.