If you follow my photography IG, you know that I like to photograph nature; mainly mushrooms, flowers, and neat bugs. What you can’t tell by looking at my photos, however, is that I like to say thank you to the beings that I photograph!
Sam….what? Beings? Thank you? This is beyond some tree-hugger stuff. Trust me, I know. But hear me out.
Plants are more attentive to their environments than many people realize. Did you know that some plants can tell when a shadow passes over them? It makes sense, since plants get their energy from the sun, but it’s something that I’d never considered before, so I was shocked to learn it. Plants can tell when they’re being touched, too! And you might have heard that plants grow better when exposed to music.
They can hear, they can feel, they can even communicate with one another! They eat and drink and move. I don’t see why on Earth they shouldn’t be considered beings.
Tree Hugging as Exercise
It’s nice to be nice! And I don’t see why we shouldn’t extend that niceness to everything that we encounter in life. Especially things that feel. I mean shoot, plants are alive, they can feel things, so who’s to say they can’t tell when I show them some gratitude? Sure, there’s no scientific evidence proving that they notice that sort of thing. But there’s also no evidence proving that they don’t.
The same goes for mushrooms! And bugs! With the bugs, it’s a little easier because they’re more clearly conscious than a plant appears to be. But its also a little more difficult with bugs, because sometimes they can just give me the heebie jeebies. I can’t hold it against them though! After all, I doubt they do it on purpose. It’s not their fault.
Thanking the subjects of my photography is one of my favorite exercises in gratitude. I mean, just think about it; if you’re constantly expressing gratitude to things that might not even be able to appreciate it, how much more often will you end up expressing gratitude to beings that you know for a fact will, at the very least, be able to understand your gratitude? Sure, they might not appreciate your gratitude, but that’s not the point.
If we only feel grateful for something on the condition that our gratitude will be noticed and appreciated, well, that just seems…..icky. Gratitude isn’t a currency that we exchange for attention. It isn’t something that should only be given when we’ll get something(like appreciation) in return.
Who Is Gratitude For?
Do you feel grateful because you appreciate the things in your life? Or do you feel grateful because you want to make someone else feel good? Gratitude is a personal emotion that stems from outside sources! Expressing our gratitude is a great way to cultivate those feelings, as well as a way to connect with others. It’s been shown that expressing gratitude has plenty of benefits, ranging from personal health benefits to improved social relationships!
And so, yes, I say thank you to the bugs, and to the trees, and even to the stickers that I photograph! It’s nice to be nice, and it’s nice to feel nice, too. 🥰
What are you grateful for? Let me know in the comments below!
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