Things prosper when cared for

The joy of caring for something.

These oak saplings prosper because the are cared for.

These oak saplings prosper because of care.

Today, I moved my eight oak saplings into the full sun, added a new layer of quality compost to their pots, and watered them.  In their second year of life these oak saplings prosper because of care.

Caring for something means one must pay attention to the small details.  For instance, I remove the caterpillars from the oak leaves, and the weeds that grow in the pots.  If I did not concentrate on the small details, the little problems could grow into larger problems, the caterpillars destroying the oak saplings, the weeds stealing their nutrients in the pots.

Also, the individual spends time on the thing cared about, establishing regular activities, such as in my case, watering the oak saplings every few days.  The individual looks for ways that the cared for thing might benefit, just as I moved my oak saplings into the full sun, added new compost to them, and infected them with a type of symbiotic fungus that aids oak sapling growth.

The thing cared for becomes special, for instance there are millions of oak trees in Britain, but only eight of those, my saplings, are special to me.  In such a caring relationship, both sides come to depend upon the other.  My oak saplings need my care and attention to survive, I need my oak saplings to feel good about myself when life is hard.

If the individual has nothing to care for, their life becomes empty and meaningless.  I love the book by Antoine De Saint-Exupery called The Little Prince, which explores ideas around friendship and caring for things.  In The Little Prince is the following beautiful quote:

“You are beautiful, but you are empty. One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passerby would think that my rose looked just like you — the rose that belongs to me. But in herself alone she is more important than all the hundreds of you other roses: because it is she that I have watered; because it is she that I have put under the glass globe; because it is she that I have sheltered behind the screen; because it is for her that I have killed the caterpillars; because it is she that I have listened to, when she grumbled, or boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing. Because she is my rose.”

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14 responses to “Things prosper when cared for

  1. Reblogged this on Get It Together and commented:
    Apply this lesson to yourself as a manager, or to your business venture… Things prosper when cared for, I couldn’t of said it better myself.

  2. Beautiful post and quote.

  3. Going to reblog this over on Learning from Dogs. Oak saplings have a special place in me for they represent the enormous faith and commitment that Nature has in keeping this planet a healthy and viable home for all! Apologies if that came over as a rather pompous statement.

  4. Pingback: The Joy of Caring. | Learning from Dogs

  5. Lovely quotation from The Little Prince.. And your oak saplings are growing strong and healthy looking… Well done Alex 🙂 form little Acorns Mighty Oaks do grown… And the Mother tree which came down I am sure will thank you for all your efforts and care..
    Blessings Sue

  6. I just found you through Paul’s site where he re-blogged your post, and it resonated with me.
    What you say in your post is so true in any situation. When we nurture anything (plants, animals, children, etc) with tender care and love, they thrive and survive; they in turn, give us great pleasure and satisfaction because we had a hand in their progress along the way.
    I’m curious now as to what you did about the squirrel burying nuts in your oak pots!

    • Hi Barb, the squirrel has taken most of the nuts, so within the next few days the nuts will be all gone, thus the challenge naturally resolves itself. On this occasion I have allowed events to proceed without intervention, there is only lots of holes in the pots, but no damage to the oak saplings so far.

      I managed to get an unusual photo of the squirrel drinking out of the bird bath yesterday. The squirrel made me laugh yesterday when the squirrel frantically dashed to safety with our cat in hot pursuit.

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