Saturday, October 25, 2014

The "Other" Gardener - Principles of Freedom

There is a story of two gardeners. Both were asked to consult for a golf resort that had a couple of problems. The grass on part of the course had turned brown and watering it more seemed to make the problem worse. There were also a number of trees that were not thriving and were in danger of dying. The two were both asked for their advice. The first said, “Well obviously, the person in charge doesn’t know what they are doing. They are applying the wrong solutions to these problems”. When told that they had replaced the greenskeeper just a few months ago, he said, “Well, he doesn’t know what he’s doing either.”

They then turned to the other gardener and asked his advice. He said, “Let me spend a day with your greenskeeper. The grass needs a little less water and some ammonium nitrate and the trees could use a bit of bug spray to get rid of the borer beetles that are afflicting them. I can show him how to take care of the problem.”

Can you see the application in our current political situation? Most of our politicians want us to believe that all the problems we face are either the fault of those who were in charge or those who are in charge. When we change politicians, the new ones continue to blame the old ones and the old ones blame the new ones. Meanwhile the problems get worse.

A very wise man when confronted with a similar argument, said, “It’s not who’s right, it is what is right!” That is what the other gardener believed and lived by. That is what we need to require of our elected officials. We need to insist that they quit blaming each other and do what is right and effective and helpful.

I happened upon a recent debate about thousands of young people coming into our country illegally. One group argued vehemently that we need to close the borders and send them all back where they came. The other group insisted that they are only children and we must in good conscience let them all come and stay here. I was asked my opinion and so I asked them the following question. “Where are their parents?” I then said, “Where their parents are, that is where they should be. If their parents are here, they should be with their parents. If their parents must go back to their home country, they should go with them. If their parents are back in their home country, that is where they should also be.”

I was surprised at the reaction. Silence. Then it was followed by mumbled agreement from both sides of the argument and the debate basically died away. When we allow politics to determine the answers instead of just looking at and solving the problems, we not only do a disservice to our nation, but we compromise our future. Please take the time, as the election approaches, to find out which type of representative you are voting for, what they stand for and if they are people of integrity and vision. And don’t just look at the two major parties. Some of the best ideas are coming from the newer parties that are not stuck in the blame game. We should all be supporting and asking for the help of “the other gardener,” whoever that is.

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