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Share the Blossoms

April 30th, 2018

Share the Blossoms

“The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose.”Heda Béjar

One of my early positions was Head of Admissions for the International School of Geneva. I loved the contact with parents, students and staff from around the world, and constant interaction was the basis of my position. I interviewed parents of prospective students in my office daily, and made sure my office was attractive to visitors.

The school gardener caught me smelling his beautiful flowers outside my office one day, and I explained to him how much I appreciated the beauty he gave to the school. Towards the end of our short discussion, he said that he would bring me a few flowers for my office. Imagine my surprise when he showed up at my window with a stunning bouquet while I was interviewing parents.

It became a weekly tradition. He would knock on my window whether I was alone or interviewing, and I would interrupt what I was doing to receive my bouquet. The fragrance certainly remained with the giver of the flowers. The fragrance also increased in multiple ways. Each person felt special when they saw the flowers being delivered through my window, and more often than not would leave with a bloom. And, as I told the gardener, “Your gesture of sharing your blossoms does as much to sell the quality of the school as me sharing the academic qualities. When you bring flowers to brighten my office, you give the message that each of us cares.”

Sharing experiences with others, be it admiring beauty of blooms, watching a movie together, or having a conversation is healthy. Research shows that an experience is richer when it is shared. It also influences longevity. This is emphasized in research focusing on areas of the world such as in the “blue zone” of Sardinia off the coast of Italy where there are six times more centenarians than in Italy. Community is one of the decisive factors. People share experiences, both good and bad, and see each other often. The streets are narrow and living quarters are close to each other. People know each other, have close friends and a network and they share.

Do you want to live a happier longer life? Enhance your age-esteem by sharing with others and, like the giver of the rose, the fragrance will stay with you.

Bonnie Fatio

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