An independent study of bored humans comparing the beauty of dirt to other elements in nature will result in dirt rating well below things like: sunsets, waterfalls, snowbanks, mountains, wildflowers, trees. Dirt gets a bad rap.
Dirt, pretty much, treated like, well, dirt.
It’s ironic. If I was dirt, I imagine I’d get frustrated. Without dirt wildflowers and those evergreens where all the snow drapes so beautifully on highly rated, majestic, mountains wouldn’t even exist. Not even a fat, squatty shrub.
Those apples I like – no can do. No dirt for the apple trees. Peaches – out of luck. Tomatoes, corn, french fries – sayonara, potatoes don’t grow in a desert.
It is effortless to overlook the value in dirt. Far from thinking dirt is beautiful, I actually equate dirt to ugly things.
Even toddlers will recognize dirty is not a nice word. Something to avoid. Dirt may be something that gets us into trouble. Worse yet, getting dirty may result in that dreaded bath.
Here is the problem, I look at dirt at the surface level.
I don’t appreciate dirt’s depth, the nutrients in that dark clump of moist soil that provide the ability for food to grow; plants to thrive; flowers to bloom.
How like humans that is. First impressions based upon the beauty of a surface. Girls. Cars. Men. Clothes. House. Wealth.
How much I miss when I fail to look deeper. When I neglect to peer below the surface and recognize the value of riches lying just underneath. Like dirt, impressions have a tendency to spread. Influence more than I realize. I don’t like it, but I may behave differently with someone based upon the outside view.
When is the last time I met a homeless person and invited them to coffee? Never?
When was the last time I met someone at church, school, a friend’s house party and made plans to see each other again? Much more frequently than never.
First impressions matter. How much am I missing in life because I am not taking the time to dig a little deeper. Know each other better. Taking the time to invest in someone more.
I think about the many deserts in my life I could convert to fields of wildflowers if I invested a tiny bit more time. If I looked at a person before glancing away. Recognized their potential. The value that person holds; the richness of life just below the surface she shares with the world.
Just maybe when I find myself taking that little bit of extra it takes to really get to know someone I will discover it’s not just them who are blossoming before my eyes, it’s also me discovering how wonderful it feels to grow.