Daring to be different

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A single pink rose bloom on my white rose-bush

Daring, different

From all the rest this pink rose

Shyly opens up

~~~~~~~

I have several rose bushes in my back yard of different colors; red, pink, and white. The single pink bloom here is the only one among the white or ivory colored blooms on this bush and seemed remarkable as we watched it develop and bloom.

It reminds me of the ways in which I felt different growing up. My friends had blue eyes, blond hair, had common names like Kathy or Linda, and were considered ‘cool’ and ‘popular’. I had brown hair, brown eyes, a less common name, was quiet and more the introvert. They had bicycles of their own. Mine belonged to my sister. They all made A’s and B’s in school. I barely passed on C’s. Their fathers had good paying careers and jobs. My father was a church pastor barely able to provide for a family of two parents with four kids. Did I resent that? No. My life was just different from everyone else’s. Sometimes I thought it unfair, and grumbled; until I realized it was I who needed an adjustment, and an attitude of gratitude with a thankful heart.

About the blue-eyed, blond-haired girls; back then, I wanted to be like them; until I learned that brown hair and brown eyes could be romantic and mysterious; all in the brown eyes of the one beholding such beauty.

The bicycle that wasn’t mine? I rode it everywhere throughout my childhood until the day I could afford to buy my own.

My low grades? Well, I learned that what I lacked in confidence and ability in some things I could achieve and excel in others. So, I worked at those things I could do well in; writing, music and art.

And my father who was a church pastor; well, he worked long days and sometimes nights ministering to people with love, humility, grace, compassion, forgiveness and a thankful heart. His lessons on life he taught his children, as well as those in his congregation.

What I learned? It isn’t how much we have, or what we’re born with that is important, but what we do with what we’ve learned; believing in ourselves and knowing it’s OK to be different, blooming where we are planted.

________________

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

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