Think of an elderly woman who is deeply depressed. Dr. Milton Erickson tells of visiting just such a woman and noticing three beautiful, strong African violets on her kitchen counter. He challenged her, “Depression isn’t your problem. Your problem is that you aren’t being a very good Christian!” Before she could sputter a reply, he pointed out her talent for growing African violets. It was a gift she was keeping to herself. He told her to purchase pots and transplant leaves to grow more of these beautiful plants. When she had an adequate supply of propagated planted, he wanted her to give them away, starting with members of her church..
After he left, she began to think about what he had said. She decided to give it a try. She took an African violet to a friend who had recently lost her husband. Then another to a family who just had a new baby. Soon this became a regular part of her life. About ten years later, an article appeared in the local paper. It was titled, “African Violet Queen Dies–Mourned by Thousands.” .