Unenlightened   Leave a comment

Gardening is genocide.

On Saturday I bought a strimmer and some secateurs. My garden’s looking pretty wild, as is the lawn out the front.

Thing is: I niether enjoy nor care about gardening. I make no pretense otherwise. I don’t really mind the triffids anyway*, it’s hard work, mucky, ultimately doomed to failure unless you concrete over the whole damn thing (and even then, only for as long as the concrete lasts), and worst of all, outside.

I like outside – apart from all the spiky, stinging and biting plants and insects, anyway – so long as it’s quite a way from anybody else. My back garden’s not so bad**, as it’s got six-foot high fencing all the way around it. But the front garden… I don’t like being out the front. It’s not got (and can’t have) even a token fence seperating it from the rest of the universe, and even if it did it’s still out the front and exposed to anybody who lives nearby***, walks past, or is on the grass opposite. I don’t like that, so I don’t go out there unless it’s absolutely necessary, and mowing the lawn isn’t.

Happily, I have a plan. Or rather, I have an unemployed friend in mild-to-moderate dire financial straits. Being notoriously miserly, that I’d rather throw money at the problem than do it myself speaks volumes.

But there’s a moral dilemma here, isn’t there? Am I just using my friend’s mis-fortune to benefit myself, knowing that he’s not really in a position to refuse, or am I offering him a perfectly reasonable opportunity to earn some (more than I’ve earned per day until recently) money that would otherwise be fairly likely to go to somebody else?

Or am I just using this as an excuse to lord my unusually well-off financial status over others?

I don’t think it’s the latter, as wealth isn’t that important to me beyond utilitarian value. But the other two? Probably, yes. Analysing your own motivations is quite hard: it’s easy to think that you’re helping others because that’s how you want to be perceived, and it’s at least as easy to assume that you’re exploiting others in any way you can get away with, because that’s what you’re afraid of. As this example shows, the two aren’t mutually exclusive.

Oh well. Everything comes down to self-interest in the end.

* I’m hoping they’ll start eating people before they can knock on the door, and if nothing else they’re good for the wildlife.

** Well, it’s a complete mess, but being in it’s not so bad other than that.

*** My neighbours all seem perfectly nice and reasonable, but that doesn’t mean they’re not scary.

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Posted 27 June 2011 by Colthor in Diary

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