Plants are effectively the basis for all life on Earth as we know it, providing us with air, withdrawing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and composing the foundation of the food chain we rely on as a species. For the most part, however, we ignore plants in our daily lives and seldom think about them when it comes to drawing inspiration about how to live better, more fulfilling lives.
That’s silly, as plants can teach us plenty of important life lessons that we’d otherwise leave by the wayside. Here are 5 of the most important life lessons I learnt from plants, and why I think you should start keeping your ears open the next time you’re walking through the woods.
1. You’ve simply got to stay hydrated
If there’s one rule that virtually every plant lives or dies by, it’s that hydration is an essential part of success. Plants that don’t gather and store water inevitably succumb to illness or dehydration sooner rather than later, meaning countless plant species have developed absolutely ingenious ways to guarantee they’re refreshed at any hour of the day. Think of cacti, for instance, and the astonishing ways that some desert plants can keep themselves moist and hydrated despite their inhospitable, dry conditions.
As the CDC reminds us, hydration is also a crucially important part of life. Drinking more water is one of the easiest ways we can improve our daily lives, so don’t forget to take a sip for yourself the next time you water your plants.
2. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree
Many of us inevitably reach a rebellious stage in life where we reject the teachings of our parents and try to strike out on a path from our own. As just about everyone realizes with time, however, human beings, like apples, don’t fall far from the tree. As a matter of fact, there are plenty of genetic reasons to believe that that our heredity influences us much more than many people realize.
When trying to make improvements to your life, it’s worth studying your parents. You may think you’re special and unique, and indeed everyone has their own personal experiences and talents, but many people are vastly larger products of genetic heritage and circumstances than they’re willing to admit.
3. It’s important to stick to your roots
One of the most important life lessons I ever learnt from plants is that sticking to your roots is a vital part of maintaining a happy, healthy, and stable lifestyle. Plants are firmly anchored into the ground for a reason; without their roots, a mere gust of wind or a hungry predator could easily upend and destroy them. Similarly, human beings who are unrooted from their familiar circumstances and origins are often plunged into a difficult series of challenges that can be hard to overcome. Moving long distances is possible, of course, and new starts are sometimes needed, but you should never forget who you are.
Despite how easy it can be to try and strike out on a path of our own, don’t forget that sometimes having roots can be helpful rather than a hindrance. Whether you’re relying on your friends, coworkers, or family members, having some roots in your life can make sure you enjoy a stable, prosperous existence.
4. Music helps you grow
Some people aren’t aware of it, but playing music can actually bolster plant growth. For decades, scientific studies have been providing more and more evidence that certain types of music, like raga or violin, can substantially impact the rate at which plants grow. This is true for people, too; listening to music helps us broaden our perspectives and introduces us to exotic new ideas, sounds, and cultures.
As more and more studies come out to prove that music is beneficial for plants, it’s worth reminding yourself that you should take some time to listen to the classic tunes you’ve known and loved all your life. As noisy as life can be sometimes, a harmonious melody might be what you or your plants need to get bac into your natural rhythm.
5. Life is a series of unending changes
The most important life lesson I ever learnt from a plant therapy, t is certainly that life is a series of unending changes. From the germination stage to the end of their lives, plants go through a myriad of dizzying changes that often see them begin as inscrutable specks in the dirt that end up becoming wide, towering behemoths that are visible from miles away. This is an important lesson to remember as you go through your own changes, especially if you’re soon to graduate or are considering a career change.
There are many lessons that plants can teach us, which is why it’s worth keeping an ear to the ground the next time you stroll across a grassy lawn. Start listening to the plants more often, and you may soon see substantial improvements to your life.