I believe in stopping to smell the roses. I believe that in order to keep us focused, centered and maybe even sane, one must allow time for calm, steady reflection. We live in a world full of hustle and bustle. From the moment we wake, we are rushing. Rushing to grab breakfast, beat traffic, and make it to that pressing meeting or appointment. During which, our brains are ten steps ahead of us; thinking about what needs to be done next or what vital detail we’ve forgotten in the scurry. And when we, by some small miracle, have the opportunity to be still, our minds are taken hostage by the media’s never-ending battle for our attention in order to sell a product or promote an agenda.
I often find myself caught up in the middle of this whirlwind called life. In practicing this idea of reflection, I have gained unknown spiritual strength. I’ve formed personal opinions, and even reevaluated how I look at others.
For example, I’ve recently had the opportunity to critique a photograph taken by a good friend of mine. The photo was of a single, small, white daisy. As I studied the frame, I noticed the flower’s imperfect petals. I wondered why my friend had chosen this particular flower, knowing there must have been another in the area with much more potential. As I contemplated this, it came to me that maybe this particular flower was considered just for that reason. Because it wasn’t perfect. A perfect flower would have been too easy, too ordinary. There must have been hundreds of them. This flower, with its imperfection, was in fact, perfect.
As I continued to reflect on this idea, I began to make a connection with my friend’s vision of perfection and how I perceive others. How often do I look at my classmates, friends and even family members with this type of prejudice?
Now, instead of seeing broken petals or a flawed character, I began to see what the artist saw… perfection. I began to see God. I saw how wonderful and beautiful each one of us is individually, even with our flaws and differences. I believe these differences teach us things a world of identical creatures could not. Through God’s plan he made us imperfect in order to allow us, through our experiences, to become perfect.
My moments of reflection are often aided by the messages and feelings I experience through art. Yours may be enhanced by a beautiful piece of music, nature, or prose. No matter what the inspiration, I believe these small moments in our lives are crucial.
So the next time we feel ourselves overwhelmed with the world and life, take a minute to stop, look, and listen. Take a moment to stop and smell the roses.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.