A certain man planted a rose and watered it faithfully. He examined it regularly.
He saw the bud that would soon blossom, but noticed thorns upon the stem and he thought, “How can any beautiful flower come from a plant burdened with so many sharp thorns? Saddened by this thought, he neglected to water the rose and just before it was ready to bloom… it died.
So, it is with many people. Within every soul there is a rose. The good and the divine qualities planted in us at birth, grow amid the thorns of our faults. Many of us look at ourselves and see only the thorns — the defects.
We despair, thinking that nothing good can possibly come from us. We neglect to nurture the good within us, and eventually it dies. We never realize our potential.
Nobody in this world is hundred percent good or hundred percent bad. Each one of us will have one’s own share of the good and the bad, the positives and the negatives, strength and weakness, etc. If we constantly point out only the negatives and the bad in the other person, telling him that he is useless and good for nothing, it will be very demoralizing for him.
Some people do not see the rose within themselves; someone else must show it to them. One of the greatest gifts a person can possess is to be able to reach past the thorns of another, and find the rose within them.
This is one of the characteristics of love… to look at a person, know their true faults and accept that person into our lives… all the while recognizing the nobility in their soul. Help others to realize they can overcome their faults. If we show them the “rose” within themselves, they will conquer their thorns. Only then will they blossom many times over.
Sage Narada saw a potential sage in dacoit Ratnakar who looted and killed to earn a living. He helped him realize his potential. This dacoit Ratnakar went on to become the great sage Valmiki, who composed the epic Ramayana.
Angulimal had killed 999 people and was looking for his 1000th victim, when he came across Lord Buddha. In the presence of Lord Buddha, he gave up his sword, accepted monkhood and went on to become another Buddha — the realizer of Truth.
“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being.” — Johann W. Von Goethe