I bought this sweet plant at The Home Depot a few weeks ago. I read the directions on where it would thrive best and ended up placing the potted plant by my back door where it would get the afternoon sun. Quickly, I noticed it was happy and thriving there as all of the adorable little flowers turned in one direction, fully extended and reaching up for the sun like a toddler reaches up for his mom.
This act by the plant is called heliotropism. Sunflowers are the plant most well known for this. They turn toward the sun because they know the sun is helping them grow. We have something similar in us; as humans, we turn toward appreciation. People want to be seen, liked, and valued. We flourish when we live with a sense of meaning and purpose. And when we know we are appreciated, we naturally grow toward it, just like the sunflower grows toward the sun.
Being appreciative and expressing it are two different things. When were you last the deliverer or the recipient of some genuine, heartfelt appreciation? Have you taken for granted those that are closest to you? Would you behave differently if you could simply keep the visual of the plant—desperately reaching for the sun and all it has to offer in helping it grow, in your mind? Me, too. It’s time. We’ve got some work to do!