This week, I was reminded of the old idioms about flowers and weeds. As I snapped photos for these weeds, growing by the side of a trail, I considered what a welcome break the scattering of purple made in the greenery.

Bees buzzed through them. The bobbing flower heads danced in the soft, summer heat. I decided to use that ombre of purple on the petals as the inspiration for my weekly color palette.

Perhaps I relate to these purple blooms because I’ve had several of my own weed moments. I think of times when I felt unappreciated or boxed into a category. I didn’t change — I was just growing in the wrong spot.

I presume this happens to other people, particularly with regard to their talents. Leaders (in name only) try to categorize and assign people for optimal output. Yet this often turns into a convenient oversimplification of potential and ability. People don’t use what they can’t understand.

Whenever I work with people, I stretch myself to do the opposite. I question whether someone is really a “weed” or if they are just not in the right place.

The result? A richer, fuller view of human ability and the value each individual can bring to a situation.