Life Lessons from Carrots

After gathering carrots from the garden one rainy August day, I placed them under cool running water in the kitchen sink and began to scrub them clean with my old, stiff veggie brush.  A thought occurred to me in that moment…

Have you ever paid attention to how all the carrots in the grocery store look so long, straight, and perfect?  That’s not the way they all look when they are harvested.

carrots of different sizes and shapes in a stainless steel colander

When I pull them up in my garden, they all look unique:  different sizes, different shapes, different colors.

I’m sure this happens with part of the carrots in commercial farms.  We just never see the unusual ones because, even though they taste exactly the same, the imperfectly-shaped carrots are rejected from grocery shipments and are ground into pet foods or used for other purposes.  Either that, or they are trimmed into matching shapes and sizes to be sold as “baby-cut carrots.”

I realized then that the uniqueness of carrots could be applied to people, as well.

orange carrot split into two roots

Society may use advertising and peer pressure to try to convince us to strive for a certain ideal in our appearance or lifestyle — to fit the mold of what is considered “normal” or “perfect.” Yet, the reality is that we are all unique in our appearance, physically and socially.

Unlike the misshapen carrots, we must never reject people that don’t fit our ideal of physical or social perfection; and we must never try to force them into matching our personal standards.

If we do not all look like Ken and Barbie dolls with the perfect figure and features, perfect skin and hair, perfect height and weight, perfect speech and mannerisms, perfect wealth and status, it doesn’t matter because the reality is that on the inside

long fat orange carrot beside three tiny carrots

we all taste the same.

Oh, wait…maybe I’m mixing my metaphors…but you get the point, right?

pale yellow carrot split into five roots

One of the scribes … asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”

Jesus answered, The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no other commandment greater than these.

~Mark 12:28-31

Do you see what I mean?  The scripture says “love your neighbor as yourself,” not “make your neighbor into yourself.”

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!  Now get out there and show some love!

~~~ ~~~~~~~ ~~~

Let brotherly love continue.

~Hebrews 13:1

My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

~1 John 3:18

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one who loves is born of God, and knows God.

~1 John 4:7

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14 thoughts on “Life Lessons from Carrots

  1. Lovely post. ^^ On a tangent: the other part people miss is that “love thy neighbour as yourself” does not apply only to community spirit and love, but also to respect and hypocrisy. Many people would not let themselves do something because they know it is bad, but believe it is loving to let their neighbour do it. In reality, you need to judge situations by universal standards, adjusted here and there to the individual. Sometimes the nice thing isn’t the loving one, sometimes it is easy, but sometimes it is not. To love another as yourself, you also need to desire the best for them, just as you desire the best in your own life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Those are some great thoughts, and very true. I believe the way I love others should be guided by the universal standard God provides us in the bible, rather than my own vacillating opinions.

      The new testament of the bible was originally written in Greek, and when we see the word “love” in our English-translated bibles, it is actually one of several different Greek words which all have different meanings. (There’s a friendship love, a passionate love, a love for family, etc.)

      The word “love” in verses like John 3:16 and Mark 12:30-31 is the Greek word “agape.” This type of love is the love which comes from God — the type of love we are supposed to pattern our lives around. It’s not simply a warm-fuzzy feeling, sexual passion, or a sense of friendship/fellowship — it entails the idea of loving someone so much that you always try to do what’s best for them. It’s a love which spurs you into action.

      And, as you said, what’s best is not always what everyone is in the mood to do at the moment, but it’s what has to be said or done to truly benefit those involved. Agape love is disciplining a child even though they don’t like it so the child will grow up to have self-control and a happier life as an adult. Agape love is checking that loved-one into rehab to help them break free of their addictions, rather than avoiding the risk of confrontation and enabling them to destroy their body and life.

      Luke 6:27 says “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.” This is agape love — not that you have sparkling-eyed adoration for an “enemy,” but that you logically, thoughtfully care enough about the person to do for them what will benefit them the most in the long run, even if neither one of you are thoroughly enjoying the process at the moment.

      I’m sure you already know all this stuff, but thanks again for your comment and for getting my thinker going this morning. These are good ideas on which to meditate.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post!! And I love the verses. I love the carrot comparison. I also love the fact that you did not leave your carrots full of dirt. You lovingly cleaned them. When we see someone who is different we don’t need to change them but instead lovingly “clean off the dirt” so the beauty of their Creator shines through.

    Liked by 1 person

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