"Because you can be sure, my dear Crito, that misuse of words is not only troublesome in itself, but actually has a bad effect on the soul." Phaedo

Parable of, The Weed I did not Plant.

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Every spring I plant a garden of green plants in the attempt to bear good fruit and the beauty within them is the recognition that that beauty is not man-made, no man can create the seed. This beauty reveals a truth that there is a creator of all things that is beyond anything humanity can create on their own; and therefore it is a beauty that can always amaze and astound the human heart, mind and soul. Though humanity has yielded more good seed by tending the garden, the seed itself was not created by human hands. No doubt the mass production of the good seed is for the good reason of sustaining the basic sustenance for life, but the reproduction of seed cannot be construed as the origin of the seed.
And so I plant my garden in nutrient rich soil and though the flowers and produce were first nurtured in a protected self-contained environment, once placed back in the wild, weeds [that I did not plant] continue to threaten to choke the good seed. The weeds that I did not plant, grow without any effort on my part, are more prolific then the good seed, seem to grow faster, and take water from the good seed. And yet despite the fact that I place more time and effort into battling the weeds [which appear with no time or effort on my part at all] then the actual planting of the good seed, a weed does not necessarily provide good fruit. And the question becomes, based on the evidence of a weeds’ appearance [evident because they appear through no effort on my own], do I rip it out to protect the good seed or do I leave it because there seems to be a reason for its, rather mysterious, appearance? It is possible in ripping out the weed, I could be ripping at the root system of the good seed, but also ignoring it poses the same potentiality for harm.
I believe for the protection of the good seed it is necessary to, at the very least, identify a weed as a weed and not ignore the harm a weed can do. And though there is a negative context to calling a weed, a weed, I know it is not me who instilled the negative context; the negative context is based on what a weed will do, and not from my “labeling” it a weed, as if I have a mean-spirited agenda. Conviction of this kind does not come from me, it can only come from exercising trust in God and striving to understand the living example of faith through our Lord Jesus Christ. But for the gardener who exercises conviction as if it originates from “self” [and this is not at all to imply an evil, just misguidance and I know, I can only know what it means to be misguided if I myself suffer from misguidance] this insinuation can wreak havoc on the gardener’s resolve; which is the point.
Implying doubt and fear that removing the small weed has its own costly moral implications, by insinuating that the gardener is causing more harm to nature by removing the weed, then the weed is causing to the good seed, causes an irresolvable conflict. A conflict that increases the idea that the gardener is more culpable of harm in removing the weed, while decreasing the idea that in acknowledging this culpability it comes at the expense of defending the good seeds, is a conflict for the pure sake of perpetuating conflict.
This conflict causes an endless cycle of indecision [I.e. ‘Do I press ‘Publish’?] because this type of self-examination is rather redundant, and causes the fear to act when the time is necessary. It is like realizing that all of life is precious and the consumption of any animal, vegetable or mineral [i.e. fluoride, or iron, etc.] is in selfish regard of self, and therefore will no longer consume any ‘thing’ of life. But in the decision to not consume any ‘thing’ of life would come at the expense of the life of self and disregarding self is disregarding life. A person can starve by the time this conundrum reveals a plausibility to reside within amicably but in the meantime the gardener is distracted enough to not act on the protection of the good seed; hesitating before a fallible anomaly because the fear of negative character assessments give the appearance that silence is safer than acknowledging the truth.
There is no doubt self-examination is a worthy contemplation but good character cannot necessarily be assessed in doubts and fear which is, of itself, what perpetuates the conflict. And, in the hesitation the roots of a weed is given time to habitat until it is too late to simply remove the weed without doing equal harm to the good seed. Thus more doubt of good character is sewn because now, based on the damage done, it is obvious that there was a time to act to protect the good seed. The time to act is gone and it was wasted on fearing negative character assessments that overcomplicated the simple decision to act. The fear cycled outward from the insinuation that it is somehow wrong, on my part, to acknowledge what a weed is, which then subtly altered the simple truth enough to let the weed choke the good seed.
Now, I do not contend that weeds are evil because the good gardener knows to give mutual respect to weeds and seeds. With mutual respect a gardener is fearless of the weeds because the complete eradication of weeds is as unrealistic as it is ignorant to the whole cycle of life. The true gardener will to try to reside peacefully with the reality of weeds; always leaving a plot of land to fallow. The weeds aerate the soil and the good gardener knows that it is important to give the soil a chance to rest, because force feeding the soil to always produce good fruit demonstrates its own brand of greed and gluttony equal to taking from the earth more than ones share without giving back. But if the good gardener does not, at the very least, acknowledge the truth of what a weed is, not only do they threaten the good seed they planted but, also, enable the weeds to threaten the good seeds others have planted. Ignoring the nature of a weed with overcomplicated insinuations that “labeling” it is somehow more egregious then to acknowledging the absolute evidence of how the weed took the nourishment from the soil, sacrifices the good seed and also the nourishment that the good seed can provide to other life.

If vices and virtues cannot be, at the very least identified and acknowledging for what they are, then not only can I risk becoming vulnerable to vice but striving for an equitable resolve will be silenced. The attempt towards an honest identification is not meant to insinuate that peace can only found in the complete eradication of vices, or to advocate ‘name calling’ but to stay on target of issues that surround such vices like the Seven Deadly Sins. I am not so powerful as to make a person greedy, just by identifying the behavior as greedy. While drumming up the accusation of “labeling” negates the issue of vice for the purpose of aggravating conflict which gives time for real harm to occur. The truth, is a person first demonstrates the actions of vice, and then I identified the vice based on the misery that the vice is causing. And these identifications are not necessarily stated for the purpose of trying to change another person’s behaviors, as if I believe I had the power or right to do so, but to keep vigil on my own soul, ‘in what I have done and what I have failed to do.’ It should never forgotten that the potentiality to join these vices is always there, that the moment one believes they are above being subject to these vices, that is the very moment one is deliciously susceptible to each vice. I must continue to strive to right understanding, mindedness, speech, action, livelihood, effort, meditation and emancipation. These virtues exercise The Way because the only way to protect my life and my children from ever submitting to vices is to acknowledge what a vice is, so as to be able to recognize that the potentiality is within me also. This potentiality to submit to vices is always there just like the weeds that I did not plant.

3 responses

  1. Amazing!


    April 17, 2015 at 11:42 pm

    • I am grateful for your time, peace to you. WL


      April 18, 2015 at 9:40 am

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