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Learning from Kudzu Vines

If you've ever driven along the Interstate in the South, there's a good chance that you've seen miles and miles of Kudzu vines covering trees and bushes along the road. Have you ever wondered how they got there? No one planted them, at least not along the road. They spread there from somewhere else.


Kudzu wasn't native to America. It was imported from Japan. It all started about 1935, when farmers were encouraged to plant it to reduce soil erosion during the "dust bowl" years. It looked like a great idea at first, but they didn't think about the problems it would cause in the future. They had no idea it would spread so quickly that it would become uncontrollable.


The vines can grow a foot a day and up to 100 feet long. It creeps up trees and over bushes, cutting off light and eventually smothering the life out of them. If you pull up a vine, you had better make sure you destroy it because it can root itself and start over again! No one has found an effective way to stop it and that's why you see it along the Interstate highways.


This menacing plant is an object lesson for us. When making a decision, don't just look at the immediate results, but think down the road about how it will affect your future. Too many people want instant gratification and ignore the disastrous consequences that are sure to come. This is why so many people are in financial trouble due to credit card debt. They bought what they wanted, but the interest has compounded like Kudzu. Wise people will make their decisions by thinking long-term. That means saying no when everyone else is saying yes.

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