M. SCOTT MORRIS: Give new theory chance, or you might feel guilty

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

I’ve got a new a theory. It’s modest and probably derivative of someone else’s far better theory, so don’t get your hopes up.
In fact, regular readers should know low expectations will be rewarded.
No, that’s not my theory. Television bigwigs came up with that gem decades ago.
My hypothesis has its roots in the past.
As a kid, it confused me to see people spending precious time toiling away in their yards. Their dedication to the work convinced me that adults were an entirely different species, far removed from my concerns.
From a kid’s perspective, adults have cars and no one to tell them what to do. Why spend their weekends trimming hedges?
It makes no sense.
As I grew older and bought a house, I saw things differently. If everyone else takes reasonably good care of their lawns, I’ll look bad by comparison if I don’t.
That’s not my theory, either. It’s a guilt-based perspective that naturally develops in groups of two or more.
The problem with the guilt-based approach is there’s only so much effort people are willing to give to an activity they can’t stand, no matter what the neighbors think.
Eventually, people realize they’ve got cars and no one to tell them what to do, so hedges are abandoned for other pursuits.
OK, you’ve been patient. Let’s hope it’s rewarded because we’re getting to my theory.
Again, don’t expect too much. You wouldn’t want to feel guilty because you judged my meager offering too harshly, while others cut me some slack.
Here it is: Yard work must be a defense mechanism against the erratic nature of life.
The world overflows with things we can’t control. If you’re like me, you have an opinion for every situation, but little sway over actual events.
Here are some examples: Afghanistan; Iraq; Libya; the budget crisis; the cancellations of “One Life to Live” and “All My Children”; the possibility of an NFL lockout; the nuclear fuel seeping into the Pacific Ocean; Charlie Sheen; the dang liberals; the dang conservatives; the dang centrists; rising oil prices; taxes; the arthritis in your (insert body part here); the annoying people in the office cubicles around you; the 2012 election; the Mayan calendar; and the inescapable fact that we’ll all cast off our mortal coils.
That’s only a partial list, an abbreviated stand-in for the mess of troubles on our collective shoulders.
Do you remember that kid and his hard judgment of the world’s hedge trimmers?
Let him judge. Let him have his temporary freedom.
One day, he’ll join the grown-up world, and he’ll want – NO! – he’ll need a few moments in spring to savor a pink azalea in full bloom.
That’s my theory, but it probably needs more tinkering because I still despise yard work.

M. Scott Morris is a Daily Journal entertainment writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@journalinc.com.