Earlier this week, I decided to take a walk out of town to just unwind and be at one with nature. This found me on the southern slopes of the Ngong hills. These are found in Kenya, southwest of the capital city, Nairobi. The place is just lush green after the recent rains and it’s very easy to lose yourself there. Out there one is in a position to think clearly as the only noise you hear is the chirping of crickets and birds singing perched on the numerous acacia trees. Every sense of the human body operates at its optimum. As I continued with my walk, I came across a short shrub with lush green leaves, some bulb like protrusions with thorns. It was one breathtaking view. I couldn’t help but stop and take in the beautiful sight. I would have wished to pick those bulbs like parts of the plant but the thorns were a deterrent.
As I was looking at this shrub, a light went on in mind. There was a lesson right there. The thorns of this plant are long, sharp and quite intimidating, but then the velvety feel of the leaves is quite tempting. I was left with the option of enjoying the lush green leaves or remain forlorn at the sight of the long sharp thorns. I want to bring this closer home. We all go through challenges and all of us agree that they are never attractive. We are always told that opportunities come wrapped in challenges (paraphrased from Albert Einstein’s quote: many people miss opportunities because they come dressed in overalls and look like work).
It is up to each one of us to decide what we will focus on. Is it the challenge or the opportunities being presented by the challenge? Life will rarely give us what we want in its refined form. It gives us raw materials and its what we do with the raw materials that will determine what we become in life. Roses are very beautiful flowers but have very sharp and painful thorns. If you want the roses, you have to bear with the pain of being pricked but then the price is worth it. I leave you with this question: Will you choose the lush green leaves or the sharp menacing thorns? Roses or thorns, the choice is yours. To read more posts by Mwangi, click HERE