It wasn't through choice.
We received a call from our landlord telling us to cut the one metre wide grass area that ran behind our apartment because our neighbour had complained that it was too long.
So we cut our grass.
And in doing so, said goodbye to the life that had been thriving in it.
Because, you see, we chose to have long grass with wildflowers growing in it so that wildlife could flourish. At night we would hear the crickets chirping. By day we would see the birds finding their food, bees pollinating, dragonflies buzzing, butterflies fluttering.
It brought us joy and made us feel we were doing our little part and living alongside Mother Nature in a more loving and respectable way.
But our neighbours didn't see it that way.
Their grass is short. And that's how they believe you should live. And because they live like that they felt they had the right to enforce their beliefs and lifestyle upon us.
And that saddens me.
They did not see anything from our perspective, only through their own perspective.
They did not show us respect by walking across our grass and asking why we hadn't cut it. Rather they only chose to go behind our back and complain to our landlord.
This is a theme that has been coming up a lot for me recently: living according to our own personal list and expecting others to live according to it too.
Each of us is unique and, so, each of us has our own list of beliefs, values, ethics, principles, ideals that we live by. To think that one person's list is right and another's is wrong, is confining, narrow-minded and short-sighted. It stunts our ability to grow, appreciate and enjoy that none of us is the same and none of us is perfect.
Our neighbours made assumptions about us. Possibly that we are lazy, possibly that we don't respect nature, possibly that we have low values. So they felt the need to impose their beliefs and principles upon us.
They never considered that when we look across at their cut grass that we are saddened because we see next to no life. However we would never confront or enforce our ideals and beliefs on them because we respect that they choose to live how they choose to live.
So we cut our grass.
However, I also wrote our neighbour a friendly and loving letter educating them as to why we had chosen to have longer grass than their's and advising them that we shall plant more wildfowers and poppies in our grass in the hope that when it grows again that the abundance of beauty and colour will not offend them. However, if it does, they are welcome to come and talk to us.
It wasn't a letter written out of anger; it was merely a letter requesting mutual respect for each other's appreciation of life.
I wonder where are you experiencing someone enforcing their list on your life? And where are you enforcing your list on someone else's life? (for we all do it until we become aware of the beauty of individualism).