what i learned from gardening

Growing vegetables, much like growing as a person, requires patience. It is harder and harder to be patient in a smart phone society. We are now conditioned to expect instant results. Instant texts, instant romantic interests, instant hilarious videos, instant food, and instant cab service.

I am not here to say that all of these things are bad. But, I am here to say that our attention spans are being zapped away, little by little, and each new IPhone model brings new concerns for the state of our mental health. In fact, for the first time in human history, I believe we have to actively WORK to maintain our peace of mind. The days of being able to just leave your house for a day and not worry about being ‘disconnected’ are over. Your life is now controlled, and it is up to you to step outside of the control and craft a life with some moments of respite.

So, that’s why mindfulness is on the rise. Who even knew what such a thing was, besides buddhists and gurus, until fairly recently? You didnt have to work to achieve mindfulness, until the rise of cinema, advertisements, and now, the internet and cell phones. We can use the internet and cell phones to our advantage, but left unchecked, these devices take over our lives, to the point where you can’t even have a dinner with your friend without checking who posted something new on snapchat within the last 20 minutes.

This isnt good. Our attention spans are important, and if we lose our attention spans, we lose control. When you lose control, you’re easily controlled, and your life isn’t yours anymore.

Ideally, we would only use the internet on actual computers, because carrying around a computer with you everywhere is just a recipe for obsession. But, that isnt the reality. Even if everyone secretly wishes for some aspect of the old days, where you could just go out and not worry about your phone, or not be available to everyone 24/7, those days are gone.

But we can still stay present, and practice patience, mindfulness, and self awareness. But you have to be ready to fight a tough fight, because all of the forces are against you. Its in their best interest to keep you glued to your internet device. Hey, it’s business. I get it. but tell me the last time marketing and big business had your mental health in mind? Go read about how they convinced women to start smoking. They appeal to emotion. insecurities. not facts. not logic.

One way i have fought this fight is by getting into gardening. Gardening requires A LOT of patience, hard work, and truly caring for the task. you can’t just plant a seed and walk away, staring at the ground, stomping your foot, wondering why it’s taking so damn long. The seed is planted. If the soil is right, and you water it appropriately, and WAIT, then within a week or so, you’ll see the seed start to sprout.

Then, you have to wait longer, keep watering, keep an eye out for pests, and basically have a good amount of hope. And passion. you have to want this seed to grow into a plant. you have to hope the plant bears fruit, and you have to have a lot of patience.

Finally, months pass. And if all went well, if you took care of the plant, if you were patient, you get the reward. lettuce, tomatoes, whatever it was you grew. But it took awhile. Because sometimes in life, a lot of times in life, you need to be patient.

You cant change a habit overnight

you cant find your dream life overnight

you cant grow kale overnight

and you cant expect instant results.

Do we stop swiping right, do we stop ordering our food online, and all the insta-things we do now? I don’t know. As society progresses, we’ll collectively look back on today, and come to our mass conclusion, like we did with cigarettes, soda, rampant unprotected sex, and the other similar vices and addicting things of our past. But for now, just do your best to remain sane, and mindful, and patient.


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