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Blooming vs. Wilting Flower


Image by Brian Richardson and Donna Bartos.

That a picture is worth a thousand words is an old, but true adage. This could not be anymore true for the BLOOM365 picture that shows the blooming and wilting flower. The simple graphic of two flowers describes the difference between a healthy, blooming relationship, and an unhealthy, wilting relationship.


What is a relationship? A relationship is a close connection between two people. Although the word relationship has the connotation of meaning romantic, relationships can be purely non-romantic as well. Regardless of the type of relationship between any two people, it is crucial that all relationships be blooming relationships. But what exactly is a blooming relationship?


A blooming relationship is one characterized by equality and freedom, and is rooted in trust, empathy, and positive taught behavior. A blooming relationship is centered on blooming words, like honesty, love, respect, and kindness, just to name a few. Blooming words are positive words that embody ideals that uplift others and make our society a more positive place. 


In contrast to a blooming relationship is a wilting relationship. A wilting relationship is one characterized by power and control, and rooted in oppression, unhealthy gender norms, and insecurity. A wilting relationship is centered on wilting words, like dominance,  jealousy, threats, emotional and physical abuse, just to name a few. Wilting words are negative words that represent attitudes and ideas that bring upon oppression to our society. 


The magic of both the blooming and wilting flower lies in the petals. The petals of both the blooming and the wilting flower are exactly identical and include media, work, teachers, parents, and friends, amongst other words. These petals are people, places, or institutions that affect and are affected by blooming or wilting relationships. For example, the media is central in affecting our perception of relationship norms. If movies and tv shows normalize interpersonal violence and glorify sex, the media influences society’s perception of relationships. Wilting relationships become the norm, thus illustrating the power media has  on our perception of relationship norms. Similarly, a petal like family also shapes whether blooming or wilting relationships are encouraged. When parents raise their children to respect others and have empathy for others, they inadvertently foster blooming relationships. 


The difference between a blooming and a wilting relationship is accurately captured in the image of the blooming and wilting flower. BLOOM365’s image of the two types of flowers holds truth that needs to be shared with the rest of the world if we want to make societal change.



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