Perfection is an illusion.

The Change

I have been thinking a lot about moving. I have also been thinking a lot about what to do with the things I own. Included in that list are eighteen orchids in varying degrees of health. I have rescued some of them from stores where they were being abused and have had others given to me when they stopped blooming.

My friend, Pepper*, has been thinking of starting a business of her own. She has also worked with plants for years and I figured she’d be able to bring the orchids back to health and maybe even sell them or use them as starter stock for cloning. Orchids are amazingly easy to propagate that way.

I called her yesterday and found out she was suffering from constructive discontent as well. She isn’t happy and stated that she had been thinking she needed to make a change of some sort.

I commiserated with her and recommended Dr. Cooper’s book, Get Out of Your Own Way. Then I mentioned the orchids. Pepper hesitated, she didn’t know much about orchids.

I gave her links on YouTube where I got my information about growing the little beauties and told her about the business idea. This morning, in my head, Pepper will be happily poking happy little orchids into their new pots in no time. I don’t know if that will happen but, since I’m going down to visit them in a week, I decided I would get the plants ready for travel.

I carried a few of my sickest out to the porch to evaluate and transplant. Most people think orchids are hard to grow, but they aren’t. They are plants and as long as you give them what they need, they thrive.

Orchids like air around their roots and are best planted in a bark concoction that supports this. As I worked with the two sickest plants, I tried to pull one of them from the pot, but I couldn’t get it out. The grower had packed it so tightly with spagmoss that I had to use the scissors to pry it out of the pot.

That plant wasn’t savable. The spagmoss had rotted the roots and I hadn’t gotten to it soon enough. The sad thing was, it had looked healthish when I got it, but it was just a facade. The plant had been tortured for so long, it had given up and died from the bottom up.

Orchid roots growing in the shape of the pot they were in.

I think I can save this one. It’s root bound, but they aren’t dead.

Orchids have a reputation of being floral divas, but they got this reputation because of the growers. Growers, interested in mass marketing, package the plants for shipment in a way that is detrimental to the plant. The store on the other end, isn’t interested in the plant either. Their only interest is in whether they sell and make money.

If the plant looses their flowers, the stores throw them away. It doesn’t matter that it is still a viable plant. It doesn’t look pretty, so it must be worthless. But if someone like me is willing to spend a little time, those plants can bloom again.

People are the same way. They get down. Sometimes this shows up as depression or illness. They put on a show to fool others, but they are dying from the roots up. All it takes to make them thrive is to make them feel valued.

They don’t want money. They don’t want titles, and they don’t want things. They want to know someone sees them as valuable.

Pepper may not take me up on the orchids, but I have opened her eyes to a new path by making the offer. When we got off the phone she had a brighter future and more confidence than when I called. And it was just because I was willing to invest a little time and effort in her.

And if that is the only thing I ever do, then I have lived for a purpose. If I inspire, motivate, educated, or enlighten even one person, then I have been the change I want to see in the world.

But why would I stop with just one?

How often do you dispose of something that just needs a little work? How often do we dispose of people in the same way?

*Name has been changed for the not yet ready to fly.