A Weed is a Flower Trying to Figure Its Shit Out

Once upon a time an opinion emerged, held true by the majority: if something grew easily and spread rapidly it must be bad (weeds); if something was harder to grow and required more TLC to succeed it must be good (luscious lawn or precious flowering plants).

We are amazed by the resiliency of the weed. It keeps coming back. It is stubborn. It wants to ensure survival to the point that it seems to fight against most things thrown at it that try to kill it.

The case against the weed is that it takes up the space of what would be preferred. It is deemed intrusive. It is thought of as ugly. And even while little kids pick weeds to place in a bouquet for their mother, we soon program them that weeds have no value. A more suitable clutch of flowers would be roses or daffodils or chrysanthemums. We forgot or ignore that a weed is still a flower. What kind of a flower? A flower trying to figure it’s shit out because it stays alive against all odds, but is wanted by no one with the exception of children that are able to see the beauty in non-conformity and the shallowness of symmetry.

Truth is, I know more people that are like weeds than any other type of person. More people are resilient and stubborn and fighting to just survive than be cultivated and perfect. On many levels we are all just trying to figure our shit out. Compared to a prettier flower we may all strive for more. And maybe, just maybe, if we accept our existing awesomeness rather than trying to be something we are not – or assuming we are never good enough – we would all achieve more.

About Iain De Jong

Leader. Edutainer. Coach. Consultant. Professor. Researcher. Blogger. Do-gooder. Potty mouth. Positive disruptor. Relentless advocate for social justice. Comedian. Dad. Minimalist. Recovering musician. Canadian citizen. International jetsetter. Living life in jeans and a t-shirt. Trying really hard to end homelessness in developed countries around the world, expand harm reduction practices, make housing happen, and reform the justice system. Driven by change, fuelled by passion. Winner of a shit ton of prestigious awards, none of which matter unless change happens in how we think about vulnerability, marginality, and inclusion.


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