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Plant With Purpose Promotes Human Flourishing


Written by Plant With Purpose on October 28, 2010 in General

by Brittany Sheppard, PR & Events Intern

I was sitting in my Social Ethics class the other day, scribbling down notes (okay and maybe a few related doodles too,) when I perked up after hearing my professor present Aristotle’s idea that “people are a lot like plants.” Before Aristotle was marked as one of history’s most influential ancient Greek philosophers, he was a plant-loving, botany enthusiast, who believed that plants and human beings have one major common goal: to flourish. My professor went on to illustrate that when plants are thriving, they are vibrant and lush, and that one can liken these characteristics to a happy person who lives well by doing the right things. Likewise, people who do poorly can appear to be withered—physically, mentally, or in spirit—just as plants can droop and wilt. Aristotle proposed that having the right balance of virtues, qualities like courage and compassion, is what helps us bloom (although healthy doses of sunshine, water, and nutrients are always good too!) He called this blooming, human flourishing.

I could not help but think of how much this class concept related to Plant With Purpose, the first link being the inescapable connection between plants and human beings. While environmental degradation and poverty can be treated as two separate issues, Plant With Purpose combines them as a single matter, helping to give the environment and the rural poor their shot at prosperity. In another light, those heavily involved with Plant With Purpose and those who help support the organization contribute to their own individual growth. Here at Plant With Purpose, the virtues that are practiced are those of the Christian tradition, which include strengths such as love, hope, faith, and charity. Many would agree that people lead better, more fulfilling lives by applying such values to their everyday lifestyles.

Lastly, my lesson on Human Flourishing 101 reminded me of the current fight to assist Haiti. With the country still struggling in the wake of the earthquake aftermath, residents and outside people and organizations, like Plant With Purpose, are finding meaningful ways to act out their compassion and courage. Plant With Purpose continues to help build a better Haiti by supplying essential resources like food and water, providing sustainable means of living, and consequently restoring the environment. In this way Plant With Purpose hopes to bring more abundance to the lives of those in Haiti.

Happy flourishing!


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