You Have To Eat All Your Vegetables!


Were you like me when you were a kid? Didn’t like eating your vegetables? And then when your parents asked you to do things you didn’t want to do, did you say no? Or were you the perfect kid? Followed directions and obediently marched to their tune? If so I commend you! You were smarter than me.

When it came to the question of eating vegetables my parents, mostly my mom, tried her best to get me to gobble up those little broccoli trees and asparagus stems. She began the manipulation game by trying to convince me that they were good for me. Would make me grow up strong and handsome. Well I didn’t buy it for a second. So she’d change the tactic to include threats. If I didn’t eat my vegetables I’d loose TV or Play time. Or not give me my allowance for a week or two. It turned into a marathon of wills. Her against mine.

Now I liked my Mom, loved her. But something in me just didn’t like being told to do stuff I didn’t want to do. “Oppositional defiance disorder” was a term I learned years later in counseling. And yes, that pretty much nailed it. I tended to oppose and defy what people in authority asked of or wanted from me. I even remember one day when my Mom said “you can’t leave the table till you eat your vegetables!” and so the battle began…….. What happened? I did’t end up eating them. My mom just got burned out and so around midnight I was ordered to bed by a not to happy mommy.

There were many years of this and many battles. Really I put my parents through Hell or at least a bunch of “Heck” when it was all said and done.

But eventually I started to figure out that doing things you don’t like is a big part of life. (And that parents, teachers and preachers actually DID know stuff!)

And I was very good at finding things I didn’t like or want to do. I liked to play and build stuff. Other than that not much else. I’d had to share things with my brothers and sisters which of course I didn’t like, (I’m the oldest of 5 kids). And so there was quite a bit of conflict in our home. Which probably was most often my fault, (so sorry family, My Bad). :(

However time passed and maturing did come but slowly. Day by day Life taught me that to get things I wanted, (money, fast food, a car etc.), I had to do things I didn’t like…..even hated. But “ya do what ya gotta do” as the saying goes, right? Not always…. If things didn’t make sense to me I’d still tend to take issue with it and question those in authority. I had problems with bosses and employers, teachers and, as I mentioned, my parents. I did a noticeable amount of self sabotaging along the way, no surprise. Some might say I was a “smart ass”. And they’d be right. I thought I was pretty smart……and then could behave like an ass…. The song “I did it MY way” comes to mind….

How much grief and pain could I have avoided by being more agreeable? How much more could I have learned, earned, or achieved? Tons it’s clear to me now…. But all was not lost.

As I got older new phrases came into my life like “if it’s gonna be it’s up to me”. And “as ye believe, so shall it be done unto you” or “believe the best and forget the rest”. Plus we mustn’t forget that we should “treat others as we want to be treated”. I also discovered that I actually had a better temperament to be an entrepreneur and business owner than an employee!

I then started to “get” that foundational truth of life that says “underneath it all we are responsible for our own lives”. Responsible for designing and defining what direction we can and should go. What we would seek out to learn, understand and grow from. What things to try and do for our own benefit. And the benefit of others. Then most importantly how we will CHOOSE to react and respond to what happens to us in life.

I was choosing how to respond to my parents as a kid. I then got the responses that I got. Cause and affect.

Crazy how long it took me to really understand these life principles and stop doing stuff that didn’t help me and start doing things that did.

Like eating all my vegetables ….

- Dave :)

PS: I did apologize for being such a pain to my family by the way….more than once…

Dave Henderson