The Adventure – Worldwide Walk with Flowers Campaign
I cried for days and days after this adventure, unhappy tears, that is.
I bought 50 beautiful flowers with the intention of giving them all away during the 1st Annual Walking With Flowers Day alongside with friends in other countries. The whole initiative was born out of a conversation I had with the wonderful Fabian Kruse, aka the Friendly Anarchist, a man who I’ve grown to deeply admire and respect over the years. He wrote of his experiences on the streets of Colombia and how the simple act of giving a flower to a complete stranger could completely change that person’s day, making it happier, brighter.
His words so inspired me, that I wrote to Fabian and told him that I LOVED his idea and that I wanted to do this in my city.
But…it didn’t quite work out the way I envisioned.
I didn’t quite expect to have people scream at me and one of my best friends – pushing us away, freaking out as we tried to give away our beautiful flowers.
I suspect that most people we tried to give flowers immediately thought we wanted something from them – I guess they had no concept of ‘receiving’ without strings being attached.
I’ve lived in a series of small towns where we helped our neighbours without thought of compensation. We’d randomly wave to strangers driving by – and even stop to assist if they were parked on the side of the road. Where I’ve lived, stopping can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.
But it’s a little different here in Vancouver, I’ve noticed.
People don’t really trust.
They are automatically suspicious, assuming the worst, never giving a second thought to the fact that someone may genuinely be interested in lending a hand, or just simply giving away a flower.
It’s the weirdest thing.
My intention was to do good and spread a little joy…but truth be told, in the end, whatever joy I started with was crushed into oblivion.
If it wasn’t for that one man, that single solitary man sitting outside a cafe in Gastown who said, “You just made my day”, the whole thing would have been completely and utterly soul-crushing.
I don’t know who you are, mystery man, but let me tell you this…it was YOU who made my day. You MADE that entire adventure for me. Simply put, I LOVE YOU for accepting my gift. I ADORE YOU for having the wherewithal to graciously receive my gift. I truly thank you with every fibre of my being.
You just simply have no idea what it meant to me.
Seriously readers, you can’t even begin to imagine what this feels like unless you’ve been in similar shoes. To give without strings attached and to be fully rejected 49 times out of 50.
Well…I just don’t know what to say.
When I think about my motives, I realize that perhaps I wanted to feel as though I made a difference in that person’s life, that I was able to put a smile on a stranger’s face, maybe even make a new friend. Who knows? WHO CARES??? It’s a happy flower!!!
Long story short, I don’t know that I’ll ever repeat this adventure ever again.
Maybe I’m just being a little too sensitive…but it hurt too much.
Perhaps in the end, it was I that needed to be given a flower.
© Monthly Adventure, Patricia Taylor, January 2011