Why a Well-lived Life is Filled with Watermelon Seeds.

Via April Adams Pertuis
on Aug 21, 2015
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kaboompics.com_Hands holding watermelon

It struck me, standing in the middle of the grocery store in the produce aisle smacked between two buckets of choices—do I buy watermelon with seeds or without?

Nowadays, why in the hell would anyone buy a seeded watermelon? Why waste time gnawing around the annoyance when there’s an easier way?

When I was growing up, there was only one type of watermelon—the kind with seeds. Today, my kids only know the seedless variety. And like the seedless watermelon, these days everything is engineered, manufactured and produced to make life easier, but is it really easier in the long run?

Standing there in the grocery store, I thought about all bonus material I might be missing by taking the easy road and buying the seedless watermelon. Then I considered what a disservice I was doing for my kids. I reached over and grabbed the biggest watermelon from the much-ignored basket holding the green orbs with seeds. “Today,” I thought, “we’re going to learn to eat around the watermelon seeds.”

It’s the truth, you know. Anytime life gets tough, we pull out our maps and find a different way, saying to ourselves, “Forget about going through the muck. I’m out of here.” We do this to ourselves and we’re passing it down to the next generation.

As helicopter moms and dads, we’re killing our kids’ instincts for survival. We’re simply buying their way around the seeds, sparing them any unnecessary hassles life might throw their way. We argue with their teachers over bad grades, we yank them out of schools when the going gets tough and we advise them to Google anything that stumps them. What happened to the days of adapting to different teaching styles, getting banged up on the playground, learning critical thinking skills… and eating around the watermelon seeds?

I, for one, am guilty. I’ve done all these things. I’ve overachieved in my role of being involved, jumping in and solving my kids’ problems, defending them at all costs. And what have they learned as a result? How to eat a seedless watermelon, skirt the issues, rely on others and ask someone else for the answers.

At a very young age, I learned how to be an independent thinker. I was forced to eat my way around the watermelon seeds of life; my parents didn’t just jump in and make things better. They cultivated a safe environment for me to get banged up and bruised by life. I am forever grateful for those opportunities and the lessons I learned. Today’s society has become too controlling, too defensive, too focused on perfection.

My suggestion? Screw things up every once in a while! Who cares if we make a mistake? At least we tried. We took a step; we didn’t let fear freeze us into inaction. I think it’s time we all dig in, get dirty and do the hard work again. Life is both messy and delicious. We have to spit out the seeds, but then we go back for another bite. It’s in those moments that the light truly does shine for us.

Since that day in the grocery store, I’ve been buying seeded watermelons all summer long. We’ve enjoyed the sweetest, juiciest, ripest fruits as a result. The seeds really do make the watermelon taste sweeter. Life is sweeter, too, when we eat around the seeds along the way.

 

Author: April Adams Pertuis

Editor: Evan Yerburgh

Photo: Author’s Own


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About April Adams Pertuis

April Adams Pertuis is a writer, video producer and media specialist. She is in the business of storytelling. Her philosophy is “everyone has a story” and she’s fascinated with getting to the core of what that story is. You can find her over at LIGHTbeamers, where she blogs about people, things, events that shine a LIGHT and make the world a brighter place. When she’s not spinning her ideas into stories, April volunteers in her community because “when you do good, good comes to you.” She also spends her time chasing her two kids and dreaming of her next vacation to quiet beaches where there is always a lot of LIGHT. Connect with her on Facebook & Twitter.

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