One of a friend’s pet peeves is when people say “No problem.” She’ll ask the waiter for more water in a restaurant, for example, and the waiter will respond “No problem.” as if getting her more water might be a problem. I’ve noticed that this phrase is beginning to replace the more gracious “You’re welcome,” in response to expressed thanks. The word “welcome” conveys a feeling of being accepted, appreciated or embraced, so “You’re welcome.” is a statement of inclusion and positive reception. “No problem.” on the other hand, states that while you might not be trouble, difficult or a hindrance this time, your actions or request could have crossed into that territory.
It occurs to me that there are garden practices that look at the landscape as full of potential problems. Some lawn companies automatically spread weed killers and insecticides on turf even if there are no weeds and detrimental insects there. Some of my customers want to spray their gardens “just in case” something harmful might be lurking. This is a waste of their time and money, but more importantly they would be killing the good guys, the beneficial fungi, bacteria and insects, that keep landscapes in balance.
We all strive for balance in our lives as well. I want to look at my landscape and my life in a welcoming way, not through a filter that views everything as a potential problem.