Last month, I found what I thought was a weed growing near my rose bush. It turned out to be a tomato plant I didn’t seed. Without love, intentional water and care, the tomato plant flourished. Meanwhile, a garden I intentionally planted died.
That tomato plant taught me a lesson about the subconscious negative impact social media has on the mind.
One day, not too long ago, I spied what I thought was a weed growing near my rose bush.
It looked familiar and even had a scent that reminded me of a tomato plant. Something I didn’t realize I knew.
When the weed started blooming flowers and growing little green round things, I knew it was a tomato plant, but I was confused by how it got there. I never planted tomato seeds, anywhere.
It turned out our neighbors had grown tomatoes on the other side of the wall sometime ago. They tore them out last year and replanted elsewhere. But that one tomato plant found it’s way under the wall and on our side, somehow.
Maybe a seed dropped last year and laid dormant until now. Who knows. But what fascinates me the most about the tomato plant is that it grew just fine without extra care.
No water. No organic soil. No egg shells. No textbook. No advice from a popular social media tomato or gardening expert. Just old-school tomatoes growing in an old-school way.
Therein lies the lesson
One thought led to another and brought to mind a conversation I’d had with my dad a few years ago when I first expressed interest in starting my own garden, and planting new grass.
My dad has a green thumb. He cultivated an amazing garden when we were kids and long before it was cool to do so.
He still gardens and has the greenest patch of grass in his neighborhood.
One day I asked my dad about things I’d heard or read online about developing green grass and gardens. He said, “Don’t always listen to the experts. They are in their business to make money, so sometimes, they complicate things to make you think you need them—or their books—when you don’t. Like everything else, trust your gut.”
I think he’s right.
The last time I tried to plant a garden, I did a lot of research. I took tips from one person and another and another. When it came time to seed and grow, I felt lost and confused. That never happened to me before I got caught up in social media.
That’s when I had a lightbulb 💡 moment.
Social media has given us opportunities to connect, learn and share. But it’s also been a curse.
Having access to so much information has inhibited us from learning on our own as we go, and it has interfered with our ability to trust our instincts. We rarely do anything without consulting the masses.
That tomato plant made me realize while there are times when we need a teacher or an expert to guide us about a subject, there are plenty of times we don’t. Plenty of times I don’t need to research.
That was a freeing thought!
That simple tomato plant growing by itself helped me to see I can plant a garden that will succeed. But I need to keep the experts and perfect gardener’s out of my head unless I actually do need help.
The next time I want to do something, I’m doing minimal research, trusting my gut and seeing how it goes. (Unless it has to do with electricity. Then I’m calling in the experts and so should you 🤣).
Do you find yourself “Googling” everything before you do it or turning to social media?
Because I was inspired to garden by one social media gardener in particular, I do think when used properly, the experts can inspire us. So, in case you need inspiration or gardening insight, next week, I’ll share the skillful gardeners who inspire people in healthy ways.
Until then, stay safe. Be well. Pursue happy.