Remembering the Golden Rule

When we lived in California my husband and I had two bamboo plants – one on our coffee table and one in our kitchen. We had an indoor ivy plant above a corner piece in the living room. And we had a peace lily in a large flowerpot by our front door.

We enjoyed our plants. They livened up our space and added a splash of color.

We even named them: Lucky, Frogger, Stan and Lily.

But we weren’t very organized about feeding them. Half the time we presumed the other person had watered them when in reality neither of us had (we’d check and then panic because their soil was extra dry). Other times we assumed the other person had forgotten to take care of the plants, so we’d both wind up watering them and then over-saturating their soil.

We had a confusing schedule with our dog too. Some days we decided to give her one scoop of food in the morning and another scoop at night. Other days we decide to give her nothing in the morning and two scoops at night. And everyday we’d have a discussion about who fed her, when we fed her, and whether she needed to be fed again. When we moved from California we gave our plants away but kept the dog. Our daily discussions over the feeding routine of our adorable mutt have continued.

We’ve often said to each other: “We need to come up with one schedule for the plants/pets and stick to it.” But no plan we thought of worked very well. Right about the time I was making the switch to Clean Eating. I read an article that suggested feeding your pets and plants before you prepare your own meals.

In other words, serve others before serving yourself.

What a great idea. After all, when I was growing up the golden rule at the dinner table was Offer the food dishes to others before taking it yourself. One summer I worked at a camp where we actually served the person to our right – I would put a piece of chicken, a spoon of broccoli, and a roll on my neighbor’s plate. Then that person would serve the person to her right, and so on…

Feeding pets and plants before meals would not only keep all the living creatures in our household on a regular schedule, it would help us transition into the intention of mindful eating. By stepping back and taking care of the needs of others first, we are reminded of how much has been given to us: our health, our bodies, and the food we are about to put inside it.

Peace & Blessings. Š