We all know that bullying affects people, but did you know that plants feel the same emotions as us? IKEA wanted to show people the devastating effects that bullying can have, through an incredible experiment involving a pair of plants.
To raise awareness for World Bullying Day on the 4th May, IKEA set up a live experiment called ‘Bully a plant’ to demonstrate how bullying can affect development. Taking two identical plants, they set them up at a school and fed them exactly the same basic needs such as food, water, and light. The only difference was their emotional environment.
One plant was fed compliments and words of encouragement, while the other was bullied and fed hateful words. The students were able to record their own positive and negative words to feed to the plants and then they were played on a loop to the plants.
30 days later, the results of the experiment were staggering. The complimented plant was thriving while the bullied plant was dull with drooping leaves. Poor little plant…
The ‘Bully a plant’ experiment certainly taught the children a valuable lesson. The more you tell somebody they are worthless and make them feel bad, the less they will thrive; they will begin to believe what people tell them.
It is certainly an important lesson that people of all ages could benefit from learning. Next time you think about saying something negative about someone, take a second to consider how much it might hurt them. People thrive on positive reinforcement, just the same as plants do.