"Dad, look? We planted the wheat a week ago but the weeds are the ones sprouting first!" These words of desperation came from Beckie - a young...

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“Dad, look? We planted the wheat a week ago but the weeds are the ones sprouting first!” These words of desperation came from Beckie – a young girl born and brought up in rural Wisconsin in the USA. Her parents Mr and Mrs Williams, were large scale wheat farmers with over 5,000 acres under wheat. Beckie loved spending time in the expansive farm. She loved the whole process; from preparation of the land, planting, weeding, spraying and finally, harvesting. Being right in the middle of the farm was therapeutic to her and her parents knew this so every time her father was going on an inspection tour of the farm, he would take her with him in his weather beaten ford pickup truck.

The particular incidence above happened during the planting season. And, as is normal with any planting, all unwanted plant residues are removed from the area to be planted and dumped in heaps or in some instances, set on fire to make sure that most of the seeds and pests residing in the weed residues are destroyed. But it’s common knowledge that you cannot completely destroy all the seeds. For weeds, in particular, nature has equipped them with survival tactics to prevent them from becoming extinct. Most of these weeds produce very high number of seeds and have diverse dispersal methods. Others are sturdy and can remain dormant in the soil for long periods of time. This is the main reason that was causing our friend Beckie to feel frustrated because after the planting is done, weeds were the first to sprout despite the fact they had cleared everyything related to these weeds.

Her young mind couldn’t wrap around the fact that soil is like a mother and it’s work is to nurture seeds whether planted by man or being there through natural means. All that is required is for the seed to come into contact with the soil and immediately the dormancy is broken. From there, the particular seed follows the natural way of growing all the way into maturity.

Our minds can be aptly compared to the soil and anything that lands there is nurtured and will develop to maturity. This is the main reason why we have religious and social extremists. These people are just exposed to people who feed certain information into their minds continuously until they start believing that’s the truth and reality commonly referred to as brainwashing. Once they believe what they are being told, they automatically start practising it.

This  doesn’t have to be to the extremism levels but even in our day to day lives. Young people are lured into drugs or crime by just having somebody plant these thoughts in their fertile minds and before long, they assimilate it into their systems and then start practising it.  I conclude with this question; Who is your mental gardener? Is it you or have you left that work to somebody else? Beware of those gardeners who are notorious for planting noxious weeds in the gardens they’ve been commissioned to tend. To read more posts by Mwangi, click HERE

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