What was your first thought when you read the title of this post? Green, as in jealous? Yellow, as in cowardly?

That’s not what I’m talking about.

sponge-green-or-yellow

Yep. I’m talking about sponges. You see, when I grab the sponge at my sink and start washing a cup or a dish, I go straight for the green side. Scratchy, rough and tough — guaranteed to get the grunge out.

I use the green side first and I use it 98% of the time. Why? Because it gets the job done and gets it done faster than the yellow side.

Isn’t that a little harsh?

What about my Teflon and non-stick surfaces? Doesn’t the green side scratch up my dishes?

Why, no.

My dishes are quite safe. Because I don’t buy dishes that can’t handle the green side of the sponge. Why buy some namby-pamby dish that I will have to coddle for the rest of its existence?

When it comes to tools and the accessories of daily life, I am looking for things that can handle the pressures of life. Heavy, solid pots. Unbreakable plates. Solid glassware. In other words, I want dishes I can scrub with the green side. Something that will last.

It doesn’t stop in the kitchen.

The second thing that hit me today is that I feel this way about other things in life. I don’t have namby-pamby friends. They don’t disappear at the first sign of a rough day. They’re tough and courageous and get the job done. They dig in and do what it takes to overcome obstacles and make the world a better place.

We encourage each other to be tough and keep the faith. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17) Notice, it’s not wood sharpening wood or cotton sharpening cotton. It’s iron. Tough stuff.

Of course, using the green side of the sponge doesn’t mean I’m always scrubbing the heck out of something. One learns to use only the amount of force necessary to accomplish the job.

steel-spongeEven so, this can be taken too far. I have a protagonist in one of my stories that not only uses the green side of the sponge on people, he’s more of a stainless steel scrubber sponge. If there’s a layer of grunge somewhere, he’ll scrape it off and it won’t always be pleasant. He rubs a lot of people the wrong way. He even leaves scratches on solid metal folks. And if you’re a bloodsucking hemavore, he’d as likely kill you as look at you. Heh. That’s too rough, though he doesn’t think so.

What about the yellow side?

Isn’t it time I take the metaphor to the other side of the sponge? Hmm… What’s the yellow side good for? Well, you’ve got me there.

How about some of you yellow-side folks speak up for the softer, gentler side of the sponge?

I’d also be tickled to hear a good defense of those funky blue sponges that supposedly don’t scratch your non-stick surfaces and are “safe” for anything. Safe, sure — but do they get the job done?

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