As you get ready for the new year, let plants help your knowledge grow with these valuable life lessons.
2020 sure flew by, huh? Well, maybe “flew by” is the wrong way to put it – what with the COVID-19 pandemic (and, you know, everything else that happened this year), “crashed and burned” might be more accurate.
But no matter how chaotic the world may be, the end of an old year and the start of a new one is always a good time to think about your life and to make plans for the future. Since plants are kind of our “thing” here at Green Philosophy Co., we thought it’d be a good idea to include them in this time-honored tradition. While we get ready for 2021 to start, here are five lessons you can take away from plants.
1. Nothing Compares To YOUAccording to a 2016 report from Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, there are about 391,000 vascular plant species out there – and no two species are exactly the same. From plants known for their beautiful flowers like roses, to cacti and other plants that are well-suited to the harsh conditions of deserts, to carnivorous plants like the Venus flytrap, each plant species on Earth survives and thrives in its own unique way.
Sound familiar? That’s true for you, as well, so don’t waste time putting yourself down in comparison to others. You’re your own person, and you can – and should – define the concepts of “success” and “happiness” in different ways than other people in your life do.
2. Grow Where You’re Planted
If you’ve ever worried that you’re putting down roots in the wrong city, think about what it must be like to be a plant! Most plants are literally stuck in one place for their whole lives, but that doesn’t stop them from growing. Even when their surroundings make things difficult for them, plants work hard to get what they need in life.
As “Queer Eye” star, podcaster, and author Jonathan Van Ness once put it: “You know those plants that are always trying to find the light? Maybe they were planted in a location that didn’t necessarily facilitate growth, but inexplicably they make a circuitous route to not only survive but bloom into a beautiful plant.”
3. Setbacks, Not Defeats
Have you ever had a house plant that looked like it was near death, but after you gave it some TLC, it seemed to miraculously spring back to perfect health? No matter how dried-out it looks above the soil, if a plant’s roots are alive, there’s still at least some hope that it can go on to live a full life.
So the next time you run into challenges in your life, don’t count yourself out then and there. No matter how crushing your latest problem feels while it’s happening, you’ll almost certainly be able to bounce back from it eventually. Just take your time and focus on your well-being – you’ll be back on track sooner than you think.
4. Patience Is Key
Needless to say, it’s a good thing to have goals in life, but reaching a major milestone typically won’t be quick or easy. Accomplishing your goals will take time and hard work, which can cause no small amount of angst in our modern, fast-paced world.
In contrast, plants have built an entire ecosystem by taking things one day at a time. According to eHow, vegetable plants take months to bear fruit; meanwhile, even fast-growing trees won’t reach a height of 25 feet until about a decade has passed. Considering the important role these plants and others play in our ecosystem, it’s safe to say that slow and steady really does win the race!
5. Take Care Of Yourself
If your house plants are going to thrive, they’ll need you to help fulfill their basic biological needs – things like water, sunlight, and so on. Since you’re already doing that for them, it’s important to meet your own needs, too.
As you live your day-to-day life, make sure to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, and (at least until the pandemic is over) wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines in public. Take some downtime every now and then, too – maybe even in your own pillow fort!
Finally, we have one more piece of advice for you to keep in mind. In the words of legendary poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou: “If we don’t plant the right things, we will reap the wrong things. It goes without saying.”
We hope this article will help you live your best life as 2020 ends and 2021 gives us all a fresh start. From all of us at Green Philosophy Co., so long for now – and have a happy new year!