Wednesday, July 24, 2013


The neighbor teen(young teen)finally got around to mowing the lawn yesterday. It was getting shaggy, the lawn not the teenager!
The father was with him as the teen started the mower and off he went. The father then went inside to work.
Now this is not the first time this teen has mowed. It must be about the third or even fourth time. And some of the same issues are apparent from the first mowing to this last one.
He has improved somewhat in mowing straighter. That being said, he doesn't always overlap his rows which means you get some skinny strips that he's missed and the grass stands taller than what has been mown.
He also hasn't discovered that when mowing next to the driveway, sidewalk or corners, one has have the mower wheels on the
said driveway, walk, etc. so that the grass hugging the driveway, sidewalks, etc. also get mown. Otherwise, you have grass next to the driveway, sidewalks and in corners that stand tall next all the rest (more or less)that was mown.
Obviously, there is room for improvement. Obviously, mowing the lawn is not merely a simple matter of mindlessly walking back and forth behind a mower. There is a little more to it and lessons to be learned.
1. You should mow a different pattern with each cutting, good for grass and growth.
2. Never cut the grass too short - you can fry your lawn in the summer by doing that. (The teen was fortunate in that it rained
before the lawn was fried and wrecked.)
3. Look back before you start a new row and see if you mowed it straight or not. That way you can straighten it out.
4 See above about grass along driveways, sidewalks and in corners - the mower might need to be a third to half on the
driveway to cut that grass and give it a nice crew cut look that matches the whole rest of the lawn.
5. Take pride in what you're doing, no matter how small, simple, menial, chore-like it is, make it look good, do the
best you can.
6. If you missed a spot or ignored the grass along the driveway, sidewalks, corners, go back and do it and finish it well.
The father never came back out to check the work nor offer any advice, which most teens don't really welcome but still need to hear, and take in.
Had it been me, I would've had the teen back out there cleaning up his attempt to mow. It would have been an unacceptable job, and my teen would know it.
It seems to me that we have so lowered our expectations of most everything - especially service jobs - that we settle for things that are less than acceptable. And to what end? To make others feel a sense of accomplishment when they could have done so much better and had a truer sense of accomplishment and a job well done? How else do we learn if we are not held to a higher standard, or motivated and encouraged to do better than a half-baked job or turn in a crummy report that we know was not as good as we could do.
This father has missed a most wonderful teachable moment in his son's life - to strive to do well and the best job that you
can. If it's not up to par, go back and fix and finesse it so it is up to par. Take pride in what you do, big or small, spectacular or mundane. Offer up something better than just mediocre. Hold yourself to a higher standard.
Maybe that's one of our problems today - settling for something less, even when knowing it could be so much better.
There's been that idea of "just showing up", which does indeed mean something. But when you "show up", give it your best
and your all. Don't just put in your time, punch the time clock, go through the motions. Make it all count for something, take
pride in helping, doing, serving, mowing, cleaning, repairing, etc. Yes, you get credit for simply showing up, but there's
so much more awaiting you if you give your best in every effort and do something.
I miss things at times, or forget to cover every detail, but I try to the best I can and take pride in what I do. I want others to be more than satisfied with my offerings and not feel that they are settling for less than acceptable.
I pray, that this teen may still learn the lesson and get the message, but, I fear the opportunity has been missed and the family will merely accept the less than acceptable and live with a funny looking lawn. It's not the most important thing in the world, but it is a teachable moment. When we do the best we can in the small, simple, most mundane of tasks, we will offer the very best when it comes to the larger things in life, mowing the lawn included.

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