The Mental Health Difference Between Onions and Babies

CompassionateLove Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness  (c)2017  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry






A silly text from my son, “What is the difference between babies and onions?” raises my curiosity.   

Our relationships with babies and onions are polar opposite. Babies need us; onions could not care less we exist. Babies express excitement when we coo at them, onions not so much. Babies are lovable tiny humans we want to cuddle and prevent from harm, while onions are targets. Our aim is to destroy and devour onions. Yum!

Babies cry, onions make us cry. We choose temporary suffering while chopping onions because we want delicious additions to dinner. Babies cause us to cry also, however not because they’ve squirted us in the eye (usually).  

Babies make messes big and small. Eventually powder, brooms, and wet rags are not enough. Damage done by various outside influences brings unfortunate changes to once-clean minds, and hopes. Onions shed only skin, and rotten ones are easily tossed to protect good ones. We cannot preserve a baby’s innocence.

Babies develop layers of personality, beliefs, emotions, and self-protection. Onions come with layers that we purposefully peel away without double thinking it. Yet when babies are older, and they try to express themselves, sometimes they hear, “Be quiet,” or “You shouldn’t feel that way.”

Imagine how mental health will flourish if we encourage babies from onset to talk out their experiences and emotions without fear of judgment!  Admitting to humanness will no longer drive us to isolation. Humility will free relationships as we stop hiding. Turning our lives and false sense of control over to God will be welcome release!

We can influence the world for mental, emotional, and spiritual health by embracing vigorous honesty and radical acceptance of each other. This is the difference between a stinky vegetable and a beautiful baby.  We can grow in love.

Today’s Helpful Word

Philippians 1:9

“I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.” – St. Paul



NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.

onions picture by LUSI on; baby picture by AMBROZ on






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