How plants make life better and bring us joy

Plants make us feel good.

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It’s not just a tagline, and we’ve written on the benefits of keeping plant companions nearby on your desk or window sill. They brighten the room; they add life. They clean the air. These plants are Small Acts giving us joy in return for water and attention.

They also help us practice another Small Act: vulnerability.

It’s a challenging one to practice, but the benefits far exceed the imagined risks. When we “enter into a relationship with a plant,” we are choosing to be vulnerable.

Will I be able to keep the plant alive? How will I know when it needs water? How much sun is enough, too much?

Taking the leap is freeing. Whether you’re taking home a new terrarium you just spent an hour building or stepping out of one career into the unknown journey of your next, moving through the fear rather than being defined by it gives life positive direction and meaning.

Vulnerability is not what you think

So many of the plant stories that we got at the NEON Festival were about people killing their plants. They expressed a bit of vulnerability just by telling me or writing it down. The most wonderful part is that many of them returned and bought more plants. They had the desire to try again. They were willing to be vulnerable.

Vulnerability is often misunderstood. It does not mean weakness. Vulnerability is what truly connects us to others and gives us the ability to express empathy and compassion toward others during strife rather than judgement and criticism. Or simply trust that we’ll be capable of caring for a succulent terrarium or air plant and ask for help when we’re unsure.

These fragile plants are in our care. “All they want to do is live,” as John likes to say. They’re gentle reminders to simply “be.” Be vulnerable.

This post was written as a Small Act Feature by Heather, creator of Small Acts Count