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Re: Garden Images - Garden Words

  • Subject: Re: [cg] Garden Images - Garden Words
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2004 18:10:00 EST

Subj: [cg] Garden Images
Date: 3/22/04 5:04:30 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: tgrows2@toledogarden.org
To: community_garden@mallorn.com
Sent from the Internet

Greetings --

  As we prepare to put together flyers and newsletters for the season I'm wondering if anyone can suggest good sources for digital gardening graphics -- esp. images that reflect the full diversity of people involved in community gardening-- black &white are preferred -- but we can work with color...
thanks-- michael


There are a wealth of graphic images out there - clip art, etc., that can express diversity, all one needs to do is open ones eyes.  An immediate image is a piece of Indian corn, with it's crazy quilt variagation of color, for example. Or a crazy quilt made up of fabrics from all over the world for that matter.  You will do well with that.

But as someone who has community gardened in NYC, one of the most diverse places in the world, there is one practice that I very strongly encourage, please,  that you follow. 

It is the use of the word "please". 

Always, consistently, and in all communications with community gardeners. The use of the word, "please."  In your missive below, you threw "Thank You" in at the end, but that doesn't really communicate your respect for other people as well as the word please. In fact, the use of the "Thank You", without the word please is easily construed as an insult by many people who come from more formal societies, from our American South, and from all over the World.

Like most things civil in our Western Culture, the origins are French -

S'il vous plait - If you please.

Merci boucoups - Thank you.

The idea is when one says please, one is asking for a favor or action of the other person which it is in the power or property of the other to grant.  One doesn't say please to slaves, peasants, or those who OWE YOU the service. One says PLEASE to free men and women.  There service to you is that of a FREE PERSON not a SLAVE.  To say "Thank You" without saying please in this exchange is downright rude, unless a SERVICE HAS BEEN PROVIDED TO YOU IN AN UNSOLICITED FASHION, i.e., you have been presented with a gift, or stuck in a john without toilet paper, the person in the other cubicle throws over a roll of Charmin, unasked.

Both my parents were Holocaust survivors and had numbers on their arms. As inmates in those camps they were literally slaves under the pain of death.  These two, a German and an Austrian, had grown up in a "bitte" "danke" linquistic environment.  My mother said that she wept uncontrollably, our of joy,  when someone used the word "please" to her after the war.

Why?  Because after two years in a concentration camp,  it meant she was once again acknowledged to be a HUMAN BEING WORTH OF RESPECT AND PERSONAL DIGNITY; THAT HER FAVOR ( WORK, SEXUAL, THE ACCESS TO THE BUFFET TABLE) HAD VALUE AND WAS IN HER POWER TO GIVE..

The use of the word "please" is key in all human interactions and should never be forgotten, even in the smallest human excange.

As a community gardener in a very diverse place -  NYC  - with over eight million people,  and in a garden with close to 5,000 keys, where we have our garden rules in three languages,  we pay close  attention to nuance and cultural sensitivity. 

We may get the pronunciations of each others names wrong,  but our personal sincerity and respect for each other  is essential to making our garden grow.

The use of words, "please" with "thank you" are the basis for which respect for all human diversity stems.

Best wishes,

Adam Honigman
Clinton Community Garden

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