Bloom Where You Are Planted

There are times in our lives where we may find ourselves feeling the world has gone nuts around us. The sounds, sights and negative people of the world come at us like sticks of dynamite attacking our joy. Some, well lots of folks are dealing with just that these days so I say, “Bloom where you are planted.”

There’s a lot of money being made by the lot of them and if you’re not careful you could be captured and held hostage to all the negative thought-provoking babble passed around stealing your joy in the process.

How did she conduct herself you may be wondering? She knew how to wear her big girl panties that’s how. She used her smile and random acts of kindness with a shot of forgiveness taken thought out the day.

My grandmother taught me the lesson of Bloom where you are planted and she sure knew something about what that meant. She was Northern born and breed but went against the grain and married a good ole Southern fellow she fell in love with. He brought her south to his home in 1918. Things were different back then and yet much like today. Everyone took the stand they were one hundred percent right one hundred percent of the time. She found herself on the wrong side of the one hundred per-cent. How did she conduct herself you may be wondering? She knew how to wear her big girl panties that’s how. She used her smile and random acts of kindness with a shot of forgiveness taken thought out the day. She taught me to forgive others for myself. What they did with it came under their business, not mine. “You don’t have to go around telling them either, your sweet smile offered as a random act of kindness says it all, she would say.”

I’ll try to explain it to you the way she explained it to me as a child. She made a conscious decision to smile at those that tried to make her feel unwelcome. A smile she told me will draw a person’s eyes upward toward your eyes out of curiosity in an unconscious effort to understand what kind of person are you anyway to smile while I’m in the process of bringing you down. In that blink of a moment, her eyes showed a warm random act of kindness of a deep, warm, loving and forgiving nature.

When she passed away, as they say in the South, I heard folks talking about how she loved them best. I smiled and nodded because I understood. My grandmother knew something special about blooming where you are planted. She understood how important it was to smile.

Pass the Knowledge On!


Arlene Switzer Flynn
Arlene Switzer Flynn
ARLENE retired from a long and extraordinary career in real estate, both residential and commercial, followed by ownership of her own mortgage broker company. She is a member of Who’s Who for Executives and Professionals in America. She returned to her ‘”forest” with thoughts of retirement, and a new love entered her life – writing. Her first novel “Buzzard’s Glory” hit the market running, and the sequel is hot on its trail. She also writes short stories of humor, old sage advice and inspiration.

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  1. One fine example of the value of a smile is evident in the longest word in the English language (pun intended): S M I L E S. Notice the mile between the first letter and the last? I also find comfort in the time-tested dictum, “Laugh, and the world laughs with you, cry, and you cry alone.”

    Coming back to your wonderful article on the significance of this lesson from your Blessed Grandmother, Ms. Arlene, I see a deep-rooted incantation to find comfort in challenges and to survive and thrive in a memorable fashion.

    Thank You!

    • Thank you Bhart for your response. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to share with my readers what has carried me through some of life’s challenges. Smile on my friend.

  2. Arlene, you had a very wise Grandmother, indeed. “Bloom where you are planted” is an important life message. It can mean the difference between success and failure. We may not always be where we wish to be, but we can be “all that we are” where we happen to be. As an Army-brat born to a Green Beret father and military nurse mother, who moved every two to three years, I learned your Grandmother’s words of wisdom early in life and can tell you they do ring true. Thank you for sharing this profound message.

    • Larry, we sure are from a different time. No matter however I’m happy we remember how to smile. Have a grand weekend

  3. Smile is really a central element of our lifestyle: it is incredible how much counts, how much power and charm it has, the relationships and opportunities it manages to distribute. And, as we smile a little, always groggy and discontented, sometimes without any real reason, do not make the smile a daily gesture is a real waste of everything that comes to us in the temporal arc of a faded and fatal moment.
    Smile does not only sow seduction, charm and therefore beauty, but above all it creates relationships. The smile, being contagious, makes community, especially if it becomes a habit.It is also good for health: there is a wide literature on “smile therapy” on the subject

    • Thank you Aldo, I’ll have to do some reading on “smile therapy”. I only know I have one and wish everyone else did as well. Frankly, I just thought the groggy, discontented crappers were vitamin D deficient or I had simply moved to a no-smile zone area of the country. Smile on my friend, I am and I’m hopeful folks up here catch the contagion.