There is never a set of black and white “rules” on how to interact with others, not today – during covid and lockdowns, not anytime.  How we live comes down to interpretation.  We combine that with our personal comfort levels and build our own guidelines.  For some, its all about overflowing with compassion for others – to the point that we forget about our own needs and safety to make sure that no one is lonely or forgotten about.  For others, its about hunkering down, keeping to ourselves, and limiting contact with others.

Either way, showing kindness can be a struggle right now.  Whether its because of physical limitations around visiting people, or because of the mental toll attached to listening to people vent, or just being at your wits end and done with everything!, it takes a lot of creativity to be kind today.  I’ll be honest, I flop between all of them.  I miss seeing people everyday (it is a part of my job!) and I get sucked into the social media rabbit-hole and some of the comments make me laugh… others not so much 🙄.  At times, it can feel like there is a magnifying glass on our every action with a public jury deciding the fate of each decision we make.  Do I NEED to go to the grocery store?  Is this paint essential?  Can we skate on a public pond right now?  Is takeout five nights a week too much?  (OK, maybe not the last one… that’s just my dream meal plan 😉).  Feeling the scrutiny makes it difficult to feel warm and fuzzy inside, to feel love and compassion and kindness for the people around us.

But, think back to what it feels like to be on the receiving end of kindness.  The feeling of getting an unexpected porch drop off surprise, the feeling of finding a greeting card tucked in with the bills in your mailbox, the feeling of opening a good old fashioned letter from a friend, the feeling of having someone check in on you with a phone call or text message.  It always feels good to be on the receiving end of kindness.  Everyone appreciates feeling loved, feeling cared about and thought about.

This week, we have the opportunity to surprise people with unexpected gifts – unapologetically!  No explanation needed.  We can, collaboratively, brighten hundreds of people’s days, their week and possibly bump them back into the positive side of things.

If you fall into the “kindness is a struggle” category, that’s ok.  Just start small.  Small gifts like a little Violet in a cute Rolf pot, or a Haworthia Cooperi in a Succulent Pot.  Pick 2 or 3 people to surprise.  Include a card, or leave it anonymous and smile knowing the mystery and suspense you have created!

If your heart is warm and “love” is a part of your everyday vocabulary, you have so many options to choose from!  Traditional arrangements like the Red Round Anthurium Planter with the ‘Love You’ plant pick, or a unique Bromeliad in a coordinating Pot make great gifts this month.

If you are a person overflowing with compassion, take a break from being on the giving end and soak up the receiving end by treating yourself.  Give the Friendship Plant a try, and throw in a little bag of soil – because we all know you’re going to be separating those friendship plant babies, and giving them away when they are ready!

Let’s make this Valentine’s day less about obligation and cupid’s arrow, and more about kindness and compassion for everyone around us.  We all have it in us, now we need to put it into action.

Happy Valentine’s Day plant friends ❤

~ Jacklyn