Thorns or roses? It’s all up to you

Photo courtesy of Vilseskogen www.flickr.com

Photo courtesy of Vilseskogen http://www.flickr.com

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”
—Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln is hot right now—both the regular version and the vampire hunter variety. I could do worse than quote him, and this is one of my favourites. It means that the nature of a thing or a situation doesn’t change, but we choose how to perceive it.

In his determined, plodding way, Lincoln told us to choose to look for the beauty in a thing or a situation. If we look for something to complain about, we will find it. If we look for the beauty, we enjoy it instead. We don’t pretend the thorns don’t exist—we acknowledge their purposeful aspects—but we choose to celebrate the beauty instead.

Sometimes we have real doozies of thorns in our lives: deaths or serious illnesses. Sometimes we have to really struggle to see even a bud of a rose, but if we keep at it, a rosebud appears.

This was a favourite quote of a friend of mine who battled cancer. She had to acknowledge that thorn, but she celebrated the beauty in her life in spite of it, or sometimes because of it.

Do you feel a little grumpy today? Do you have some complaints? Acknowledge that, but look for the beauty. For sure, you will find a rosebud or two.

Photo courtesy of Miss a Liss www.flickr.com

Photo courtesy of Miss a Liss http://www.flickr.com

About Arlene Somerton Smith

Writer, laughing thinker, miner of inspirational insights, sports fan, and community volunteer

Posted on June 18, 2013, in Gratitude, How do you define success?, Inspiration, Living life to the fullest, quote and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Arlene, thank you…..this couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I will endeavour to enjoy the roses.

  1. Pingback: Five Things to Think About - SuzeMuse

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