After leaving my classroom behind for three weeks, I walked in to see that I had neglected a few things. Am thinking my little plant wasn’t feeling so loved at all during my absence.
It’s a plant that really doesn’t need much care at all. It’s not one of those persnickety needy plants. It’s not sensitive to light. It deals with my sporadic watering and can go through long periods of drought. It’s resilient, hardy, and needs so little care that sometimes it’s easy to forget that if it’s going to survive, I’ve gotta make sure its needs are met. But obviously, this time I had dropped the ball and my hardy resilient plant had reached its limit.
It’s easy to see the signs of neglect. I mean, look at the poor little thing. Yes, it’s easy to see signs of neglect. In plants. In relationships. In people. The signs have a way of showing through even the hardiest of species, especially when they’ve reached a certain limit. The signs might not show up for awhile. It takes time for things of the deep to rise to the surface. But rest assured, when there’s a lack of care, well, it’s going to take its toll and signs will start becoming indicators of a need.
Those needs might be in a stranger you pass on the street. They might be in the person on the other end of the phone. They might be on the social media feed or in the pew in front of you. Heck, they might even be in the passenger seat of your car, or in the mirror in your bathroom. To see the needs, well, it often just takes first noticing, second, caring enough to do a little something to meet a need. It’s amazing how a kind word or a smile, or ‘a cup of water’ can make a big difference. For plants. For people.
I mean seriously, does the health of the little plant (or relationship, or person) matter to me? Well, then, by all means, it’s obvious that little things need to be done. Tender Loving Care. It’s not a big deal at all, but it can make a huge impact. So many things are not a big deal to do, but on the flip side, the benefits are huge….for plants, and for people.
So here’s a little reminder from me and my currently recovering plant. Look for signs of a need for T.L.C. In plants. In people. Even the most resilient of folks might not show signs for awhile, but if you take a minute, pay attention, and really care, well, you might just have the dose of water or sunshine or laughter they need. You might just have the word of encouragement that helps them keep pressing on. You might be that one bright spot in their day that helps them to keep on keeping on, or to, like my resilient little plant, perk up and be back in the land of the living.