“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” ~Abraham Lincoln
In front of my house there is a very thorny (and I confess, somewhat overgrown) rose bush which is currently enjoying its last bloom of the season. It was very small when I planted it, but now, six years later, it is enormous and beautiful and wild-looking. It perfectly embodies the concept of a “thorn bush” that happens to have beautiful blooms, and I love it because in doing so, it perfectly mirrors life.
The roses, of course, represent all of the beauty and delight that life offers us, while the thorns are those difficult circumstances that cause us pain; the barbs that we don’t realize are present, until the moment they draw blood. In life, this dichotomy exists within every worthwhile pursuit. If we endeavor to grow a thriving rose bush, plentiful with hearty, beautiful blossoms, the thorns simply come with the territory.
As I sit and tend this rose bush, I do sometimes curse the thorns; but I always come back to remembering why it is that I tolerate them. When life is in full bloom, the beauty of the blossoms far outweighs the inconvenience of the barbs, and the pain of a few scratches.
So really, it’s not about looking at the world through “rose-colored glasses”, it is simply about cultivating roses.
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