Let me explain.
I have a plant at work.
Okay, that’s not entirely true. My office has a plant. We share him. But the problem with my office having a pet plant is that they don’t take care of it. So after the fiasco with our last plant -- I’ll spare you the details. All you need to know is that I was in full steam ahead rescue mode, intensely trying to prevent the plant’s demise, when a well-meaning colleague took it upon herself to throw him away. Needless to say that didn’t go well. -- So after that, I made a public announcement that no one was to feed, groom or generally care for the plant; it was now my responsibility. So for the sake of uniform feeding schedules, please just leave him alone.
So we got a new plant.
He is now happy and gay and loving life and loving me.
And why does he love me? Oh that might have to do with the fact that I actually care for his well-being. Now before I continue, let’s be clear: this is a plant – not a human and not even a domesticated animal. It’s a plant. I get that 100%. However, what I think people don’t seem to get is that, like all living creatures, plants respond to kindness. They respond to kind speech. They respond to kind touch. And I have it on good authority that they respond to kind kisses. This is absolutely not weird to me. Science has proven this so long ago that it’s almost shocking that people still disregard the validity of it. Now granted, they likely don’t disregard the validity of it as much as they fail to see the value in it.
So in that, I ask you: when choosing who or what to be kind to, what should be factored in? Maybe folks might be more inclined to talk to plants and treat them less like furniture and more like living creatures that are trying their damnedest to purify the very air we require for survival, if say, they were to hop out of their pots, run up to us with their tails wagging and lick us in order to bring us joy after a hard day. Oh wait, if that’s the case are we being kind for the sake of being kind or are we being kind because this thing is going to make us feel good about ourselves when we do?
It’s really quite simple. Yes, it’s a plant. And yes, the lifespan of the average houseplant is somewhat shorter than ours but so what. And yeah, when I talk to the plant it doesn't talk back. Hell, truth be told, because Plant doesn’t direct and guide my tender touch through patient instruction, I actually can only assume it appreciates my tenderness based purely upon scientific evidence. But I’m okay with that. I’ve seen the circle-of-life-writing-on-the-wall and ya know what, it feels good being sweet to things. It feels good being sweet to people too, often even when they aren’t sweet in return. And as I’m sure you’ve noticed, sincere kindness is in rather short supply with us human folk. So the way I see it is if some little southern blonde girl wants to take her, excuse me, our plant on its weekly outside time hangouts then really, what’s the big deal?
And it’s not that anyone in my office minds this or has spoken to me about my odd plant fixation. And believe me, I’ve polled for feedback. Well not technical polling, but I’ve been told by many that my plantly activities are not only endearing but cute too. So that’s not the issue. The issue comes in the few times when those not working on my floor, spot me on the deck living up the good life with my plant. At first when asked what I was doing, I’d answer honestly: “ya know, I just bring him outside cause he likes and needs it. I mean it’s like his little playtime. He gets some fun in the sun. I talk to him, increasing his nutrient absorption rate and thus we have an all-around healthier office-plant experience.” I say all this only for them to not speak negatively but rather look at me like “how the hell did this kook get past HR?”
Okay, number one, I’m not a kook. I’m likely a lot smarter than you are. Number two, physiologically good and sound things happen for me, the plant and the rest of the office when this Plant thrives in our presence. So how about this, how about you go back to crunching numbers and you let me handle the complicated workings of maintaining and sustaining life in all that I come in contact with. How about that? Cause really, that’s all I want to do. And truth be told, every bit of my life goals are centered around doing that very thing. Well…. Minus a few boat rides and seashell currency-using island hideouts. But even that could be viewed through the filter of me replenishing my reserves in order to go back out into the world and more effectively love and guide people back to reality. But that’s a total sidebar. The point of all this is just because people might not see the value in me treating this plant as a living, breathing creature capable of experiencing pain and fear, doesn’t mean that because I do I’m somehow all the more hard to interpret. Cause really, if and when one has this knowledge and opts to not be kind to other living things, knowing that they are affected by either our kindness or the lack thereof, then really, if you ask me I’m not the one with the issues.
Some people might not ever get how and why I am the way that I am. And in this case, why I choose to expend the ever so minute amount of energy it takes to be kind to a plant. But really, since when do I need an excuse to be kind? The world is bubbling with needs and reasons and my pockets are overflowing with love. So how about you just let me do what I do best.
And that is quite simply, being sweet. It's really not that complicated. Even when this time it's a plant that I'm loving.