Flowers or Weeds?

This past weekend, my friends’ 3-year-old daughter found it enthralling to pick the yellow “flowers” in their backyard as a bouquet for Mommy. The darling cherub was so giggly eager to preserve her handpicked dainty flowers in a sippy cup of water just for her mother. Last year her 5-year-old sister plucked the yellow beauties at the park and we also kept them well watered in a sippy cup just
for Mommy.

DanielDandelionsTo me the “yellow flowers” are annoying dandelions that I dig up and spray every spring before I can get my lawn sufficiently safeguarded with weed ‘n feed fertilizer. I’ve come to detest dandelions messing up my green grass. But do I need to become like a child in my middle-age thinking? What is there about a child’s perspective that nudges you to examine your own?

Yellow flowers or weeds? It all depends on your point of view. To exuberant children who know nothing of pesky weeds and toxic chemicals, dandelions are bright and beautiful. To me, who ran my own lawn service as a teen and who studied weeds (not “Weed”) in college, dandelions are an annual landscaping evil. But what if I paused to consider a child’s view of the pointy little buttercup florals?

Life is like a yard sprinkled with dandelions. Part of our resiliency is learning to acknowledge other people’s dandelions, er, viewpoints. Some of us need a little practice at accepting truth that may not fit our preconceived grid. Others of us need to put down our weed killer spray and rethink our perspective.

As my pastor is known for saying when mentioning two different perspectives that are both true: “Which one is right? . . . Both.” A dandelion (meaning “lion’s tooth” because of its shape) is both a perennial plant with florets and it is a weed. But it’s also a medicinal herb used for upset stomach, joint pain, and much more.

Oh, for the patience not to jump to conclusions about facts or people and the wisdom to stretch our viewpoint or soften our stance. Perhaps today you’re facing a particular situation or problem. Is it a dandelion or weed? Perhaps it’s both.

And if you’re like me, you can choose to view dandelions as cheery flowers when you’re with children and annoying weeds in your own yard. This morning I noticed some of those golden floral, medicinal weeds cropping up in my landscaping rocks. Now where I put the Roundup®?

Brave and Resilient Tip #27: Learn to consider and respect other people’s viewpoint.


  1. Carrie Brandt says

    Love it, love it!!! Dear Lord, help me to see what you see…Carrie

    • I agree with your prayer totally, Carrie. Oh, to view our world through His eyes!

  2. Great, Beth. On so many levels. Thanks for reminding us to appreciate beauty whatever form it takes! And if you hold a dandelion under your chin and it reflects the yellow color onto your face, you like boys! (Or was that just a Southern tradition?)

    • Thank you, Nancy! Yes, of course, how could I leave out the twirl under your chin routine to reveal your affinity for boys. I’m from the South too——southeast Nebraska——and we grew up with the same dandelion tradition.

  3. Jeanette says

    A lion’s tooth! Never knew that. So true about how to see like God sees. All things bright and beautiful. love.

    • They kind of look like a scraggy lion’s mane. I will never look at those pesky little, er, lovely yellow flowers the same again.