What Can We Learn From A Blade Of Grass?

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A single, solitary blade of grass was seeded into this rich, round ball of earth.

It was born with the innate desire of becoming tall fescue, but it was already off to a poor start.

There was no fanfare, no oohing and awing. In fact, there was no celebration at all.

Life lessons from a blade of grass.

Life lessons from a blade of grass.


It was given no name. This made the blade of grass feel as unwanted as crabgrass, as unwelcome as milk thistle.

If it had been named, it may have been called “Easily Influenced” because it was blown around and bent out of shape with every passing wind.

One day the blade of grass looked around and noticed it was smaller than most.

It was very slow to emerge. And it had not heard the voice of its guardian angel whispering, “Grow! Grow! Grow!”

So, it wished it were taller, just like other renowned tall fescue.

But no amount of stretching and reaching would accomplish it in that moment.

There came a time when the blade of grass wished it were a little wider as well, so that it would stand out amongst its peers.

It wished it had a more colorful personality.

It wished it were elsewhere.

It wished a lot of things.

The blade of grass thought to itself, that perhaps, it would be better to be carried away and become a transplant.

I’ve heard the wind whispering that life is greener on the other side of the meadow.

But then again, it didn’t want to be green any more either. It secretly wished to be Poa pratensis, better known as Kentucky bluegrass.

As this fanciful idea took hold, the blade of grass began to want nothing more.

Day and night it thought and wished — hoped and dreamed — about being blue.

It wanted to be more than what it was.

But if it had seen its potential, it would never have made any of these comparisons.

The Root Of The Problem

Without realizing it, the blade of grass had completely forgotten an important truth that it was born with.

In being more concerned with making an appearance on the face of the earth, it had forgotten its roots.

Even worse, in the desire to be seen as something important, it had completely neglected its roots.

Its roots hungered for personal care. They cried out for attention.

But as the blade of grass detached from its purpose, it failed to listen to its own inner voice.

It became weak. Very weak.

That’s just when the poison set in.

A root of bitterness had crept into the thought processes of the blade of grass.

It wished for what it could never be, and no amount of wishing would make it so.

It romanticized the notion of being carried away to a more exotic location even more.

But alas, no amount of dreaming and hoping helped it turn blue.

The more the blade of grass focused on what it couldn’t be — a self-fulfilling prophecy was made manifest.

There was no need for pest control. It’s insides had become toxic.

The root of bitterness began to grow on the inside of the blade of grass, until its complexion became more yellowed from jaundice and becoming jaded.

Afraid of never measuring up, it now became a sickly color.

It didn’t know what it had become. Certainly, a far cry from the blue grass it longed to be.

Yuck. I feel terrible,” cried the blade of grass. “I wish someone would come along and bury me in the back forty.

The Blade Of Grass Gets Help

There was no magic fertilizer to perk it up. There was, however, the Master Landscaper.

The astute landscaper noticed that the only place on the lush estates that didn’t do well was a patch of grass made sick by that one blade of grass.

I won’t be putting you out to pasture any time soon,” declared the Master Landscaper, “You’ve got your WHOLE life ahead of you!

The Master Landscaper cared deeply for the blade of grass and its neighbors that had become contaminated.

He soon exposed the root of bitterness, carefully removing its stranglehold on the lone blade of grass.

Wow, I can breathe again!,” exclaimed the blade of grass.

His heart was chlorophylled with gladness, and his natural color returned almost immediately.

What it the world got into me?” asked the blade of grass.

The Master Landscaper replied:

Some bad ideas had taken hold of you. 
In these parts, they’re more common than the common cold.
When you’re weak like that, you’re much more susceptible.But you’re going to be okay now. I’ve

  • removed the root of bitterness infecting your spirit.
  • extracted a virus called psychic reality
  • rinsed you clean.
  • given you some insecticide for all that bugs you 🙂
  • and have given you an extra shot of courage to be yourself.

You’re now free to follow your true path.

Live deep!


It is a simple truth that our choices inform our purpose.

Imagine yourself as that blade of grass.

For the acronym buffs, my BUTLERism for the word GRASS is…
Get Real And Stay Strong

Water the Blade Of Grass Story with Your Conversation

What parts of this story spoke to you?

What lessons do you take away from this story?

I love learning and want to hear your thoughts. Please contribute here.

Thank you kindly!

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About Bill Butler
William A. Butler is a John C.Maxwell certified coach. He loves to add value to others and aspiring to be a great humanitarian, lives by four words: BE LOVE TO OTHERS. William often goes by "Bill" and is a poet, a songwriter and has an upcoming novel.

50 thoughts on “What Can We Learn From A Blade Of Grass?

  1. Hi Bill. For me the essence of this parable is to be the best of what one is rather than be green with envy over what one is not. A clear case of the grass not really being greener …
    Paul Graham recently posted…Beyond SpecializationMy Profile

    • Hi Paul,
      Thanks for your insights, which I agree with. I sometimes wonder, collectively, how much energy is wasted on jealousy, envy, and other negatives? … or, like the blade of grass, how much time is spent on daydreaming, rather than on being and becoming our best?

      Have a great week!

  2. Hi Bill

    This allegory speaks volumes about…desires – that need to be nurtured, potential – that has to be understood, intuition – that develops slowly if we lend an ear to our inner voice, be independent – to survive the struggles and be strong – to build forbearance and fortitude…above all, be yourself and take pride in what you are or what you want to be.

    A fantastic literary piece! Loved reading it…very few can write so well! Thank you for sharing it.
    Balroop Singh recently posted…When We Attach Freedom To Our Emotions!My Profile

    • Hi Balroop,
      I’m glad to share this and I certainly appreciate your summary of all the things we need to focus on rather than being like that blade of grass. I absolutely agree with you… BE YOURSELF.
      How often do people wish to be something they are not? I really appreciate your kind words. Thank you very much!

      Blessings for a beautiful week ahead!

  3. Hi Bill, nice article. Nothing wrong with wanting to better yourself but craving something just because someone else has it will never lead to fulfillment. I guess that’s what you are saying; be yourself and do justice to who you are.
    Tim recently posted…More than a Dry SpellMy Profile

    • Hi Tim,
      I think if we venture down the rabbit hole of making comparisons to others, we miss our own inner beauty. Like that blade of grass, we start looking outside ourselves for something better, rather than being better.
      Exactly right: Be yourself and do justice to who you are.

      Have a great week!

  4. Hi Bill,

    The parable is grass is awesome and unique! I know only you can have such a creativity 🙂 Enjoyed very much! Thank you for an awesome lesson!

    Never forget your roots, never disconnect from your root because that is where it all comes from. It is a very interesting fact that is often ignored in the glitter of the outer world these days.

    Thank you for this awesome reminder. Appreciate you for sharing this today.

    Kumar Gauraw recently posted…How To Ensure A Pleasant Experience To Your Website VisitorsMy Profile

    • Hi Kumar,
      Glad you got so much out of the parable, especially the roots. I say if you disconnect from your roots, then like a tree, you simply fall over from being hollow on the inside.
      Good thing the Master Landscaper came along to help that blade of grass. The question for each of us is… who do we turn to when we feel disconnected?
      How any of us answer that question determines our destiny.

      I appreciate you! Thanks for contributing!

  5. Wonderful parable…. a great reminder that you can’t simply wish anything into being. That it goes back to a willful powerful ac that we are responsible for and if we do that , we likely get lots of divine support.:)
    Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie) recently posted…Ethics Violations… Where’s The Justice?My Profile

    • Hi Jacquie,
      I agree, we cannot wish just anything into being, but we make manifest those things that we focus on the most. I agree, there is always divine agency at work, and inasmuch, we are co-creators.

      Have a great week!

  6. This parable was great. One of my favourite sayings is “Be content where you’re planted”. Guess that holds true for grass as well as people.
    Lenie recently posted…Yummy Yogurt Treats – So Easy To MakeMy Profile

    • Hi Lenie,
      Welcome back! Glad you enjoyed the parable. 😉 I like that saying as well… similar to “bloom where you’re planted.” Fortunately, we are all much more than a blade of grass.

      Have a nice week!

  7. This is a very sweet story and a very relatable piece of grass. I think that it has become accepted in society that we always want what everyone else has and what we have is never enough. I think we all experience times of insecurity wanting to be more like others than ourselves. The positive lesson is that who we are is always enough.

    • Welcome Erica!
      Thanks for the kind words. I agree with you, many people are “conditioned” by society, as evidenced by social stigmas, peer pressure, and other behavioral controls.
      I think it is also human nature, at least the ego, to want what others have. It is interesting that you mention “enough.” The Latin word satis, where we derive the word satisfaction, means enough.
      I fully agree with your last statement. I have a similar one… when your heart is full of love, you know that it is enough.

      Have a pleasant week!

  8. Bill,

    I so enjoyed this parable. What hit me the most was that the blade of grass forgot about his roots. The roots that bound him and could have spread for more growth. Instead, he was looking to be Kentucky Grass….something he was not.

    We, are like that blade of grass. If we forget our roots, the values that hold us together and we can spread around to others, we loose ourselves. If we are the kind of person that thinks “the grass is always greener on the other side” (pardon my pun) then we just are fooling ourselves.

    Fascinating post, thanks so much!

    donna merrill recently posted…Marketing Your BlogMy Profile

    • Hi Donna,
      I’m glad you enjoyed this. Speaking of roots, all of humanity is deeply connected, yet there are many who experience estrangement. People in nursing homes that no one visits, dysfunctional families, people who were once close friends and are now complete strangers… are a few examples.

      There are many forms of disconnection. People with an overblown ego are completely out of touch with and disconnected from their authentic, true self. Many people squander their time and energy on matters of little import, preferring laziness over industry or procrastination over accomplishment.
      Forgetting ones roots also speaks to a lack of appreciation of where one has come from as compared to where they are in their life now.

      Thank you for your insights and the pun (I love puns!)

      All the best!

  9. Man, a great story all sprouting from a blade of grass! The point when the landscaper came in almost reminded me of Herman Hesse and how he wrote of Siddhartha and his journey. Not to take away from your own work though. I just really loved reading this. Really inspiring and I hope to read more of your stories in the future!
    Carl recently posted…Why Revisit Places?My Profile

    • Greetings Carl,
      Welcome! So glad you enjoyed this. I didn’t think of Siddhartha when writing this, but like that you made that connection.
      Like the blade of grass, we all need an agency, divine and otherwise, to keep us in alignment with our purpose and personal integrity.

      I look forward to your return here. Have a great rest of the week!

  10. Lovely parable. What it says to me is to be true to yourself and do what you were meant to do, not try to be who you think someone else or society in general wants you to be.
    Donna Janke recently posted…Javelina Leap Winery’s Unique TourMy Profile

    • Hi Donna,
      The funny thing is, a blade of grass is inherently true to its nature, but using this mechanism allows people to see through the parable and take from it what they will. I think, in general, people put themselves under a lot of unnecessary pressure to do and to accomplish when they simply need to be.

      All the best,

  11. I do like your blade of grass parable. I only feel a little cheated at the end … if only the “root of bitterness” or whatever the plague where so easily removed. Often, difficulties creep back, and one must try another route.
    Leora recently posted…Flat Illustration Trees and LeavesMy Profile

    • Hi Leora,
      Glad you like the story and thank you for your candor and for causing me think more about this. I love learning 😉

      I was aiming for a happy ending, but I agree with your point. Life isn’t so easy, and yes, life’s lessons seem to repeat until we have learned. While it was beyond the blade of grass to remove its own root of bitterness, we can and should take responsibility for our reactions.

      All the best!

  12. Cute parable about the blade of grass. Personally believe we should always try to better oureselves and constantly learn. But keeping up with the Jones is only for people with low self esteem.
    Catarina recently posted…Tough times never last – But tough people doMy Profile

    • Hi Catarina,
      You’ve made great points. I’m all for learning from others and being better too.
      When writing this, I hadn’t considered the angle of keeping up with the Jones’ … but many people try to do that.

      Thanks for contributing!

  13. Bill this was a wonderful parable. I take for this wonderful interesting post, I the grass is not greener on the other because you still have to mow it. Never forget your roots, because they are what made you who you are today,
    Arleen recently posted…How Mentally Strong People Run the WorldMy Profile

    • Hi Arleen,
      Thanks for your comments. Never forgetting your roots reminds me of a young man who sat in front of me on a return flight to Nashville. He had his long hair pulled back to reveal a tattoo behind his left ear: REMEMBER. I engaged him in conversation and told me he got it because his parents told him, no matter where you go, remember who you are. I love writing in the form of a parable every once in a while because it’s easy to see through something like a blade of grass to evince some important lessons.

      All the best!

  14. Hey Bill,

    Lots of people agreeing that they so enjoyed this parable.

    The lesson I got from this is to never turn your back on who you are. I think so many others would love to be someone else when if they just accepted themselves they would be happy. I use to think the same things growing up until I realized that I was just fine the way I was.

    You are an excellent writer Bill and thank you for sharing this with us.

    Adrienne recently posted…How To Easily Remove Broken Comment LinksMy Profile

    • Hi Adrienne,
      It’s nice to see. I think acceptance is a key issue for many people. I know from dealing with many young people, that if they are not heard, they don’t feel appreciated or accepted, that their thoughts don’t matter. So accepting one self is definitely a key to happiness.

      You’ve so welcome. 🙂 I appreciate the accolade. Thank you!


  15. Hi Bill: I am impressed by describing great realities of life with tiny similes. This is art of narration of bitterness with sugarcoated truths.
    Thanks for sharing

    • Welcome Mi,
      Thanks for participating in the discussion here. I love writing parables, morals, short stories… all forms of writing that incorporate life lessons such as this blade of grass. On my blog, I post these once in a while, but I also use double letter alliteration in many of my posts because I love the creative challenge. Speaking of tiny similes, there is a Bible passage (1 Peter 1:24) that talks addresses this: “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls.” So the lesson is, make the most of it while we have it. 🙂

      Kind Regards,

  16. Hi Bill

    What at an awesome post and as Kumar said only you could come up with this. I love it and it is such a deep message.

    Forgetting our roots can be very dangerous of course and many people do totally learn who they are along the way. And of course many people want to be someone else or something else. We can all be the best version of ourselves.

    Thanks for a great message

    Sue Price recently posted…5 Tips for Success in Your BusinessMy Profile

    • Hi Sue,
      I’m glad you like it, and I appreciate Kumar’s kind words, but I know many others who are equally capable of such a story.
      At any rate, I did want to convey some deep truths, and I know I’ve succeeded.

      I agree, forgetting our roots can be dangerous, and just earlier this week, I had occasion to deal with an elderly women who, because of increasing memory loss, finds it difficult to remember things, especially about her family. I also thought back to my childhood, at certain times, when I didn’t want to be part of the abuse, the drama and the violence, but those were the roots I had no choice about.

      When I severed, in my thinking, the wrong actions of others from who I wished to become, I made changes for the better for myself and others.
      So, while growing up, in many ways I was like that blade of grass. I’ve certainly come a long way… for which I am very grateful.

      You’re very welcome. Thanks for adding to the conversation!
      All the best!

  17. I really enjoyed this parable, thank you for sharing it with us.
    I think that all of us almost once in our life have experienced insecurity and wished to be more like others than ourselves.

    • Welcome back Ilaria,
      Oh, you’re right for sure. Like that blade of grass, I was very insecure about many things along the course of my upbringing. Yes, it’s common to the human condition, but as with all good life lessons, once we learn the truth, it serves us much better than living a lie.

      Kind Regards,

  18. Hi Bill, I do love this parable. It is a great reminder that we can’t always have what we want because we wish it. It is so important to always be true to ourselves. We forget that sometimes. I see and hear others wish to be like someone else, thinking it will make them happy. When we can accept ourselves and like who we are we are so much happier. Just my thoughts. 🙂
    Susan Cooper recently posted…Answer To A Prayer: StoryMy Profile

    • Hi Susan,
      I agree with you. The reverse is also true. We can have what we want through service, value to others, and hard work. Yes, being true to ourselves should be the key motivator for a life of unparalleled success. Your comment about wishing to be like someone else reminds me of John Mason’s book, You Were Born An Original, Don’t Die A Copy! In it, he says, “The world desperately needs the originality only you can provide.”

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Much appreciated.

  19. What a beautiful post with such a powerful lesson. It is indeed so easy to look around at all that others have and get blinded to our own riches.. something I try hard to impart to my daughters is to let go of bitterness and envy and celebrate what makes them unique and shine bright. You’ll never know what you are truly capable of if you are always wishing you were different. God created each and everyone of us unique and perfect and when we can embrace our gifts we can be a gift to those around us!
    Valerie Remy-Milora recently posted…How to Tackle Tough Topics With Our TeensMy Profile

    • Welcome Valerie!
      Thanks for the encouraging words and for adding to the conversation. I love everything you’ve just said. How many people travel the world looking outside themselves for happiness but miss their own inner beauty? I recently wrote about releasing a number of things, and you’re right: bitterness and envy are toxic. Celebrating all our unique and wonderful differences that God gave each of us increases our awareness and understanding of ourselves and others. I think this is one of our greatest responsibilities as human beings… to simply BE LOVE TO OTHERS.

      I think God has a purpose for everything, even a blade of grass, but we often fail to discern them. I think that the image we have of our self, the kind of person that we see our self becoming and the life we wish to lead… all ties into the unique plans and purpose God has for us.

      Kind Regards,

  20. My solution? Be more like a cactus and learn to get by with less 😉 I do love parables. Animal Farm is my favorite, but also because I love politics.
    Jeri recently posted…eBook Cover Design Survey: The Two YosemitesMy Profile

    • Hi Jeri,
      I like how you think. Thanks for sharing that life lesson: a cactus is such a hearty plant precisely for that reason. You know I’m going to quote you on that. 🙂 Yes, thanks for tripping the memory banks on that delightful story. I remember the line “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others” … and the characters Mr. Jones, Clover, Benjamin, and Pilkington. It’s all coming back to me. Now, I’ll need to re-read it 🙂

      Kind Regards,

  21. What a sweet way to teach such an important message! I think we all tend to think we should be more than we are at some point in our lives. The most fortunate of us learn that we have all that we need to succeed within ourselves. You’ve found a wonderful way to remind us to look to our roots.
    Lynnette O’Keefe recently posted…Dementia DayMy Profile

    • Welcome Lynnette,
      I appreciate you coming by and sharing your thoughts. I agree with you. I think, deep down, we all have the irrepressible desire to be better, to experience more, to live more fully. For many, these thoughts come and go like the breeze.

      Like the blade of grass, many people hunger for something they are not or for something outside themselves. You’re right… we came fully equipped with seeds of greatness in us. It’s unfortunate that so many people never learn or understand this.

      From a holistic and humanitarian perspective, I think we are all connected, for our roots run everywhere, and run deep.

      All the best,

  22. This is an excellent parable. We all have to watch out for certain thoughts taking hold of us once in a while.
    Jason B recently posted…5 Inexpensive Memorial Day Destinations (Down South)My Profile

    • Hi Jason,
      I think minding our mind is a daily discipline. Certain thoughts (negative ones or ones rooted in bad habits) that intrude unnoticed and take hold, if left unattended, can wreak havoc with our thoughts and feelings. That’s what happened in this parable. The blade of grass began to obsess over what it wasn’t, and those thoughts eventually turned to poison.

      Have a nice long weekend!

  23. Hi Bill,

    Very interesting post 🙂

    I am myself deep into the discoveries of my own roots and powers right know, I didn’t even know I had until now. These past few months I’ve been on a mission to find myself, more. I don’t know that we truly found ourselves completely 🙂 but I know we can do a better job then we usually do.

    Thank you for this thought provoking post.
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted…Spiritual Awakening Have You Ever Had One Yet?My Profile

    • Hi Sylviane,
      I am glad that you are yet making personal discoveries. I think it is the joy and the mystery of life to uncover our true selves, to find and know our purpose, to explore our hidden potential. Of course, unlike the blade of grass, we have the ability to make real improvements whenever we choose.

      You’re very welcome. All the best to you!

  24. What caught my attention was the word toxic. We are our own worse enemies sometimes by filling our minds with negativity which turns into toxicity and spreads its ugly disease to others. Being open to accept some healing energy from others is a feat in and of itself for some people. Enjoyed this, Bill!
    Laurie Hurley recently posted…Why Being a Quitter is a Winning StrategyMy Profile

    • Hi Laurie,
      I’m glad you enjoyed this. I liken toxic thinking to battery acid. As I was writing this post, I thought of people in volatile relationships, how bitterness controls their lives.

      It reminds me of The Biology of Belief, by Dr. Bruce H. Lipton. He discusses negative beliefs and their effects on our chemistry.

      I agree with you. I think it takes plenty of wisdom to inform a choice that permits the healing process.

      Kind Regards,

  25. I like this story. Very apt for me at the moment as I try to find out my own direction and purpose.
    Becc recently posted…BrokenMy Profile

    • Hi Becc,
      I’m terribly sorry to hear of the passing of your Dad. I’m praying for your peace.

      I’m glad you like this story. Hopefully it helps you regain a sense of balance.

      Kind Regards,

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