March was the month of last year, I remember, when I went with my mother to shop for plants and flowers. I hardly knew the name of the plants, let alone, how to take care of them. My taste in plants is just like a person knowing only vanilla as the flavor of ice-cream. I mean, I thought that I had to just water them once or twice a week and they will grow themselves. I was as caring about them as an immature child given a priceless pen from an old teacher of his dad.
My Mother, on the other hand, treats them in a very different way. She chooses the plants and flowers very carefully before buying. She looks into the climate prevailing at the time, the condition of the soil in the pots, and the plants that are already adapting to the environment of our home. She pots the saplings herself. She has even advised the home maid to water the plants in case she is not at home on a particular day. She has trained the maid in watering. All my aunties and mom’s friends, and guests of course, exclaim in awe on the beauty of the balcony and the happiness it causes on my mom’s face, wow! And on the other days, I have also seen her feeling sad when any member in our balcony garden would not adapt or became sapless. Oh yes, she loves them a lot.
One day, the chance to water the plants came to me as my mom was away on a trip and I had taken leave for a month from my office for the preparation of my exams. I was given the responsibility to water them once a day at least. I wondered, why? Once or twice a week is fine. I had read during the school days that few plants need less water to survive, which I had generalized to every plant. I was so wrong.
Well, I started with my job to water them. Three days in continuation was good and then I started ignoring it. I often watered them at erratic hours only to find that they were becoming unhealthy. I saw one particular flower plant that often bloomed our balcony, was next to becoming an inanimate one. It was the reason that our balcony looked colourful most of the time and then there was no flower on it anymore. The leaves were falling off and the other plants were becoming unhealthy too. After a few days, the colourful plant was no more. I felt jolted. It was because of me and my negligence that the plants were dying a slow death. I realized I was irresponsible, uncaring, and undisciplined towards them. My mom often said that, “to help the beings with no mouth to ask for is the highest form of help. It will tell you the character of a person”. And to have the opportunity to help nature grow around, I should be thankful to nature itself.
It was that moment when I realized that I need to change my perspective towards things. I cannot take things for granted. If a responsibility is bestowed upon me, it will be harmful to the being to whom my responsibility extends if I do not fulfill it and yes, also to the person who trusted me with the responsibility. I did not like what I did. It could have been my pet too.
Now a days, the habitat of nature is changing. The flora that used to grow in abundance at a place is no more adaptive to the same but changed environment. And the days are not far when we will see Tulips or Petunia as available only on Google Image search or in encyclopedia or the wallpapers.
The quality of caring needs to be imbibed and imparted at the homes, schools, and organizations. We should now learn to take care of small things and feel responsible to do that. It will make us disciplined in the way we walk our busy schedule, behave with others and will teach us to help the needful. For what we are receiving now are the seeds that we sowed few steps back.
Oh! Did I forget to tell you about what happened when the realization crossed my conscience?
The moment when it was decided to change the plant which was declared dead because of me, I wanted to resurrect it more than I ever wanted. It was like the determination of getting a life out of the clutch of the Cold yet Calm Death Harbingers. I started to water it and take care of it more often. I did so with others too. I became disciplined and paid heed to their needs. I sprinkled water on the leaves and prayed to give me just one more chance. For weeks it did not bear a single leaf. Mom asked me to change the pot but I retaliated. I did not want to give up. I wanted to reverse the entry wrongly debited to my profit and loss Account for the deeds that I did. (Ha! An accounting Pun). At last the endless stream of my hopes retired and I was gifted with a smile of a green leaf on the branch. I was more than happy. I thought I became a parent. I understood then what my mom felt when she cared about the plants like she cares about us. Try it, you will feel it as the best feeling of your life. And I can admit now, I try my best to take care of the plants, definitely more than before and I have become responsible.
Caring about the nature pays in the same way the Hard work does. Simple way to try it is to Sow a seed or adopt a sapling, and care for it till you are sure that you have changed. And later, send it off to the nearby garden or forest area, its habitual environment. And believe that you made a difference.
Plant a sapling. Bring it to life. Care for it. See, how it changes your world.
Try these simple steps at your Study desk or office desk.
- Individually adopt a small pot. Size of your palm and sow a seed or plant your favourite flower.
- Read about that plant or flower on the internet, books, encyclopaedia etc. Read about its origin, the climate which suits them, how much water and sunlight they need, etc.
- Take a picture at the end of every week and compare it with the earlier ones.
- Make sure everyone in your office is doing it. Individual attention and collective responsibility. It will make your office and office desk look beautiful too.
- Help it nurture and grow it in your surroundings. You will never feel alone. At the end of the day you will gain an experience of becoming a caring parent, and a caring individual who has his mind on small things too apart from a busy schedule. And what else is the best way to assure that you come to your desk every morning to see a growth in your care, hard-work and discipline?