Don’t settle for contentment

Caitlin Brown

Above my family’s entrance to our foyer is a wooden decoration that reads, “Bloom where you are planted.” Each word is painted on its own flowerpot, and the pots, each spouting bright cloth flowers, are strung together with twine. The whole effect is very quaint and fits well in our country kitchen.

I don’t remember exactly when it was hung or who picked it out. Funny that I never thought about it before — this thing I’ve looked at every time I’ve had a meal, a birthday party or have just been talking with someone.

Do I agree with this flowery admonition? Do I really want to be like a flower? Sure, they’re beautiful, smell great, are important for the ecosystem, but a flower? I’m a freshman in college; the last thing I want to hear right now is that I should be content with whatever my current situation in life happens to be. I want to make my own life — I want to have more control than the average plant.

It could be that this adage is referring to a less permanent situation in life in which a person needs to make the best out of a situation they can’t control. “Bloom where you are planted” could just simply mean make the most out of what you are given. But the solid image of those happy flowers in their little pots hanging on our wall doesn’t lend much support to this explanation.

Shouldn’t I have the right to change things, to get up and move if I want? Though I am happy with the way my life is right now, I expect to continue school and graduate and get a job and marry and raise a family. Given the freedom of our country, these are all plans I am privileged to look forward to. It sounds backward to me to say simply be happy with what life has dealt you.

Do you agree with these presuming posies? Is there something in your life you’ve grown up with but never questioned? Something that might actually be contrary to what you now believe?

It doesn’t have to be huge or life-altering, but the next time you’re munching at the kitchen table, look around you. Look for something you would never expect, and you may find that it pays to stop and smell the roses.

Caitlin Brown is a freshman nursing major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].