The Grass isn’t Greener on the Other Side: Reality Check

 One of the biggest values I see in my country is the “New” value.

What’s this ‘New” value? It’s the value that if something isn’t working, we can throw it away and get something new. This not only pertains to toys, televisions, cars, or jobs, but also relationships and people.

Monogamy is problematic in itself. Despite the fact that we really aren’t designed to be with one person sexually, most people flock to monogamous relationships, whether for family reasons or security reasons. People find comfort in coupledom, even though there should never be  just one person meeting all a person’s various needs as that is a lot for one person to do. Sure, a partner can meet most or some of one’s needs, but one will always need other people in addition to a partnership for a myriad of different ways.  Co-workers for work knowledge and growth. Friends for hobby talk, shared interests, or simple social time.

With monogamy still being a rather popular state, I find it sad that so many of us in this particular country–I can’t speak for others–give up so easily when we feel things are tough or not working.

We have all felt this way. There have been many days in which I or a friend of mine has said, “Ugh I can’t take it! What a crappy fight/day/situation!”

Yet there is a huge difference between dealing with a rough day, and simply walking away and shaking one’s hands totally clean of another person.

We look at our “garden”–our relationships, our marriage, our friendships, our boyfriend or girlfriend, and suddenly all we see are weeds. Look at those weeds. Look at the little creepy crawlies or rabbits that keep eating my plants. Look at that shrub–it never bloomed flowers like it was supposed to. See how this grass over here is a bit yellow? Damnit, I watered it and tended to that grass like a fiend. Why is it not healthy? Why is there a patch in my garden that refuses to grow any grass, despite having planted seed there? Why does my garden not look as good as my neighbor’s? Why is his so much better than mine? I bet he has better fertilizer. I bet he has more money. I bet I can just go to a landscaper and get rid of this junk, and have a better garden. 

The grass looks so much lusher over in Mr. X or Mrs. Y’s garden. Her plants are fuller. Trimmed better. Nicer pavers. Never gets crab grass. I’d love to have his or her garden. My own is terrible.

Yet if we went over to Mr. X or Mrs. Y’s house, I betcha ten dollars that all he or she is obsessing about, is the one patch of weeds he/she always has to pluck.  Mr. X is looking longingly at your garden, while you stare at his.

Often, people walk away and start anew. “New” means better. New means more possibilities and less work. New means I can start off on the right foot. I can get what I want finally, instead of dealing with the metaphorical weeds, crab grass, and yellow spots in my garden. Finally, I will have what I want.

After awhile, as one strolls through this new garden, one is bound to find weeds. Plants that never quite grow. A bunch of rabbits that keep eating the greenery.

“But how was this? It seemed so right before! So perfect! I never saw those weeds. I never noticed those rabbits.”

We recycle people, toys, cars, and material items as if they are all going out of style. Everything can be better! It’s the American way.

“Look Ma–the newest version of X…”

We walk away from things that aren’t unrepairable, and buy new things when we are tired of what we have and want what the next dude has in front of us. When someone irritates us, we dump him or her too, because hey, there are plenty of fish in the sea. Those other fish probably aren’t as –insert negative quality–as my fish.

This goes for jobs too. I bet Mrs. Y’s boss is better than my boss. I bet if I move to this company, I will get X, Y, and Z, forgetting that while we may get those added bonuses, a whole bunch of new problems will be there to face us. They may be different issues than the ones we deal with now, but they will be there. We just think they might be easier problems, and indeed, they may…or they may not be.

I’m not saying we should hold on to everything and everyone. Some plants just don’t grow in particular environments, and some people just don’t work together. Some people, no matter how much they try, will never be a great combination. It’s a sad reality that all of us have faced in our lives. Not everyone “fits” us. and we do not fit everyone. That’s okay. 

I just feel that as a society, we value the “new” too much. We think something new will solve the problems that we had with the last person or product, yet this “new” person or product will hand us different problems. We must be tenacious to solve and work at them. We shouldn’t just walk away, unless it simply is unhealthy or dangerous for ourselves.

It’s not a matter of deciding to stick with something or someone even if it harms us, but knowing that when we enter into any relationship, whether a business or love partnership, that we will have to work hard to manage and maintain it.. We will have to water that garden, and watch as it sometimes flourishes, and other times, wanes.



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