the grass

As the saying goes – ‘The grass is always greener on the other side’. Ovid, who was born not long before me, (43BC – 17AD), had another version. 

‘The harvest is always more fruitful in another man’s fields.’ 

Basically, we’re never content with what we have. We have two options. We can hop over the fence and steal the greener grass, or we can look at what we have and truly appreciate it. Option one might get us a jail sentence. Option two will make us smile. 



When we make assumptions about people it’s often an unfair judgement. We have no idea what’s happening in their lives if we only see the ‘greener grass.’ Criticizing their lifestyle and their actions is truly not conducive to our own wellbeing, but it doesn’t stop us from sighing over the grass we perceive as being greener. 

What do we actually know about the people around us? The external picture is just that – external. It gives no indication of their struggles in life, traumas, or the sacrifices they have made to create their greener patch of  grass. 

We assume their lives are hunky-dorey and trouble-free as we plod through our own lives complaining and miserable. Our judgement is clouded and we sigh. Our assumptions colour our views and make us less than kind. And thus the grass beneath our own feet shrivels up and dies.


This word may not be found in formal English, but it’s well rooted in Irish culture. 

Resenting what other people have and not being happy for them will make us dissatisfied with our own lives. Not wishing someone well and not acknowledging their talents, success, or even their new car, is akin to an insult. It’s a mental spit.

We admire our neighbour’s new house extension, and then as we walk away say what an eye-sore it is. We admire our friend’s new coat and as we walk away we say it makes her look fat. These kind of comments are endless, but we all know the story. No-matter where one goes in the world the story is the same. Begrudgery is international. 


No sooner have we voted someone into power the begrudgery begins. We build pedestals for people we believe will run the country for us and then  knock them off that self-same pedestal.We no longer like what they say or do. The media slates them, feeding into our sense of ego and self-satisfaction. We call it freedom of speech.

What do we know about what actually goes on in any parliament? Politicians are at the mercy of other politicians, aides and advisors. Their passion for improving or changing people’s lives is now diluted by the environment they work in, and constrained by budgets.. 

So is the grass greener on their side, or do we perceive what we want to?




We are wasting valuable energy by feeling resentful about what someone else has. Resentment builds up dark layers inside us that blind us to the truth. Whilst our eyes are focused on what we perceive is our neighbour’s ‘greener grass’, we miss our own  opportunities, miss the messages the universe is sending us. We miss seeing the person who genuinely needs our help. 

Admire the green grass, but do not covet it. Learn from it. Turn away and focus on the wonders around you. Turn away and see who you can help to create their own patch of beautiful green grass.




I have been exiled 

from all that I know and all that I love,

I have been exiled

from my home, my country,

The basis of my identity,

I have been exiled through war,

Through fear,

And in exile, I remain exiled

through war of words and more fear,

I am a threat to your composure,

I am the past

you have left behind,

I am the unknown,

you do not wish to acknowledge,

I am in exile from my home,

A stranger in your home.

 ©Helena Abrahams



open your eyes


When you look out into your garden don’t sigh and see only the work that needs to be done. See the beauty that is there. Let your eyes rest on the daisies and primroses and the bumble bees hunting for honey in the flowers. See the different shades of green in the grass and the shrubbery and the beauty of the towering tree. Even in the depths of winter there is beauty to be seen in the slumbering landscape. A beauty of bronze colour –  and always the hope of Spring, the  hope of renewal.

It’s often difficult to see what we have as we gaze longingly at what other people possess. We can’t smile. It’s too much effort. Everywhere we turn we only see dark clouds.

Yes, it’s all about perception. It’s all about our lack to truly appreciate what we ourselves have. Acceptance will bring us a long way towards a new perception.

The grass is not greener on the other side. Look down. It’s green below your feet. 

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