SMALL GESTURES TOWARD WORLD PEACE

Plant Theft

How much does a succulent go for nowadays? $3? $7 at most? Did someone descend under cover of darkness with a spade and a bag to steal $7 worth of succulent from a complete stranger? Is this really the best investment of your time?

And no, it was not my plant, but as a member of the human race, I am appalled. There were some other working titles I had for this post – they all involved profanities – and then I thought better of it. There is no need to add to the negativity out there.

My new my working theory is the current title. Let me explain. I had a job in retail at one point, where we were told over and over again not to give the customer a bad experience (ironically, the job was a bad experience for me) because a customer will remember a single bad experience for a year and they will tell all their friends, and bad news travels fast, etc. What I took from this, was that people naturally hoard their bad experiences, and it will color their outlook for a long time. All the little things can pile up over time, until the problems are no longer small, and the world can become a very dark place. There is possibly some evolutionary basis for this: remembering that eating certain plants caused diarrhea probably ensured that your genes made it into the Cenozoic era. But now that we have Imodium, it may be time to rethink that tendency.

What to do? My theory is this: I’m a believer in small gestures. Small acts of consideration done consistently will travel a long way. It’s a concept taken from the school of Karma. Small gestures, to counteract the nighttime succulent stealers of the world.

What is a small gesture? I think that ca be as simple as listening when someone is talking to you. Being present. When the cashier asks if you want your receipt in the bag, you look that person in the eye and say “yes.” Did you read a good article? Leave a positive comment. I have a friend who writes popular short stories. She can tell that 2000 people have looked at the story. Out of those 2000, 100 “like” it. Then maybe 7 people leave a comment. This is a very aggravating statistic. So, leave a comment.* Little things make a big difference. Be creative and see what you come up with.

*By “my friend” I mean a real separate friend. I’m not talking about myself. Reading this over, I realized how this could be misinterpreted, but I’m past the point of passive-aggressive mixed messages. I’ve moved on. Seriously.

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