Blame the cabbage?

When you plant a cabbage or a rose and it doesn’t grow as well as what you hoped for, do you get angry with the cabbage?

Wise people will investigate what went wrong. Is it the soil, or perhaps the water, or perhaps some pest etc. Then they try to do a better job to nurture the plant. They don’t spend hours being angry with the cabbage.

Since we do not get angry with a cabbage, why do you get angry with someone? A relationship requires the same effort as nurturing a plant.

I read the above from an internet post and it was accredited to Thich Nhat Hanh.

For a while, I couldn’t help but visualise difficult people with a cabbage head!

I am not going to be angry with these cabbage head….

It was fun dismissing irritating people as cabbages but it doesn’t seem to be the core value of the message. As days go by, there are more and more cabbages around me.

I guess the message is not simply about shrugging our shoulder and turning people into cabbages.

Relationships are mutual. Just as growing cabbage requires effort, growing a relation also requires effort. Perhaps even more complicated.

A good farmer will examine what went wrong with his effort and not blame his cabbage. Likewise, we have to examine ourselves instead of blaming others for their behaviour.

Or perhaps we are too idealistic in our expectation. Wishing that our cabbages turn out to be of specific colour, shape and size.

Then the problem is never with the cabbage from the start but from an impossible farmer with an impossible expectation.

Even a cabbage has its own characteristic.

Turns out the biggest cabbage head is myself after all…..Who is the farmer and who is the cabbage?


My Buddhist name is Ratna Jamyang Puntsog. I first encountered Buddhism in this life when I was 12. Formally took ceremonial refuge in the triple gem when I was 19. I believe the different spiritual methods were taught by Buddha to suit various beings who each have their own unique characteristic. The various sects and practices that arose are just a naming convention invented by disciples out of communication necessity. Had read and studied different forms of Buddhism. Volunteered in Buddhist organization. Until it last, I hope to share my views on Buddhism and find like minded practitioners around the world. May we practice Buddha's instruction together and connect through cyber space!

4 comments on “Blame the cabbage?

  1. We are the Farmer’s of our own cabbage, which presents our soul. Don’t you think so?


  2. Jamyang Puntsog, thank you for this post. Its very inspiring.

    Liked by 1 person

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