Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Do You Need This Hedge?
The cactus towered precariously over the two other much smaller cacti in its pot that for some reason had never "progressed" the way it had. The three of them looked like a sorry lot. Surely no one else would take them, but I couldn't bring myself to throw them out. Better let someone else do the dirty work. So I shined up the pot, affixed a yellow post-it note with the words: "Poor little cacti - orphaned - lost their home" and carried it (very carefully!) into the lunchroom. I set it on one of the tables, waited to make sure it wouldn't fall over, and then bid it a wistful goodbye. A few hours later, I went in there to dump some trash and was astonished to find that it was gone!
I was telling this story to one of my colleagues, thinking that somebody must have thrown them out, and he told me, on the contrary, he'd seen the person who took them -- and assured me they'd found a loving home. I couldn't imagine who would become attached to such an ungainly arrangement and then go through all the trouble of moving it!
Was it possible that my little note about orphans (we were all feeling a little uprooted that day) may have bestowed a certain charm not offered by other plants? I recalled one of my favorite posts by marketing guru Seth Godin about how the best brands, the ones that make a connection with the public, are mythic -- that is, they tell stories that people connect with on a spiritual level.
I didn't happen to take a picture of the three cacti before I abandoned them (would you have!), but I do like to take photos of misfit plants, and thought I'd share this photo of one of my favorite hedges in Century City. It's located across the street from our old office and always made me laugh and wonder what it said about our community.
Next time, if you're unsure if you've got something worth keeping, ask yourself does it have a mythology that helps you live?