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

July 7th, 2010

I was swinging under the maple tree the other day, admiring from afar my neighbor’s rose bushes.  They wound around a trellis creating a stunning archway of pinkish red blossoms like a giant headdress.  I was tempted to approach them and fill my nostrils with their unmistakable scent.

I saw only roses.  From a distance, the thorns did not exist; their presence did not even occur to me.  That is how I want to live my life.

In life, we often focus on the thorns, the difficulties, the problems.  We talk about the prickly part of our day and what went wrong.  It makes for a more sensational story which will hold the interest of our listener.  But, like the prick of a thorn, we re-experience the negative emotions and feel the pain anew as we recount our tale of woe.

Can we instead count each blossom as a blessing and breathe in the scent of our joyous moments?  Can we cultivate our garden of goodness tending to each blossom as we carefully work around the thorns of discord?

Dwell on the roses of your life and forsake the thorns.  Count your blessings, not your woes.

5 Responses to ““We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” ~Abraham Lincoln”

  1. Ken Gerard on July 8, 2010 6:39 pm

    Fantastic sentiments. And that quote is great as well. I think if more of our friends and family thought like this it would have a dramatic effect on our lives.

  2. Ralph Thompson on October 18, 2010 1:58 am

    great post thanks

  3. Janet Pfeiffer on May 20, 2011 4:01 am

    I have about 50 different roses – some old and gnarled, some young and supple – much like people, really. They all have beauty in some way or another – some have glorious velvet hues, but no scent. Some are not much to look at, but their fragrance is mesmerizing. When my roses are in bloom, it is my morning ritual to wander through my garden, admiring their aroma and their beauty – it’s a feast for all my senses. I feel happy and blessed when I’m in my rose garden. Which is my favorite rose? Well, there’s a beautiful peachy-orange rose named Fragrant Cloud and my nameless lilac rose is divine. I wish I could show you the pink one I used to make rose petal jam last year, then there’s …
    Like you, Sophia, I see only roses … (and the occasional aphid)

  4. Janet Pfeiffer on May 20, 2011 4:08 am

    Jan – sorry! I read your url and didn’t see your name at the top of the post until I had commented. Guess it’s lucky I’m a Jan(et), too!

  5. jmorris on May 20, 2011 4:23 am

    Thanks for your comment! Jan

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