Ever been bullied? Picked on? Teased incessantly by that one guy at work?
Annoying, sure. But you can handle it, right?
While I’d like to think I’m somewhat immune to the effects of the obnoxious, and even ill-intentioned, IKEA has proven me wrong…using a plant.
In honor of Anti-Bullying Day, May 4th, IKEA set up a live experiment in a Middle Eastern school where they put two essentially identical plants next to each other, with equal amounts of sunlight, fertilizer, and water. The only difference? How the kids at the school talked to them.
With one plant given lots of verbal encouragement and compliments, and the other fed negative, hateful words, the plants were observed for 30 days and the results were clear.
The plant that had received the relentless bullying was visibly worse for wear. It was drooping, turning brown, and seemingly undernourished, while the encouraged plant thrived and flourished in a nearly identical environment.
What a powerful visual example of the pain a living thing suffers when being bullied. And, as one of the students mentioned: if hateful words can so drastically affect a plant, how much more will they affect us as human beings?
And on the other end of the spectrum? The power of positive, uplifting words is incredible! Thanks for the reminder, IKEA!