A few days ago I was driving home in the middle of rush hour. The traffic that day was heavy, even for rush hour and I sat completely motionless for several minutes at a time. As I sat, I watched. I watched other cars, other people, buildings, clouds, trees, anything to keep my mind occupied and ease my stress and boredom.
At one point, as I gazed out my window, I was saddened by how cluttered, dirty and dingy the side of the highway was. As I looked more closely, among the overgrown grass and weeds, I saw pieces of old tires, shards of broken glass and plastic, discarded fast food wrappers, empty pop bottles and a host of other unsightly debris. It was not a pretty sight. As a matter of fact, I had decided that it was just plain ugly. Then, I noticed something that changed my mind.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a small patch of beautiful wildflowers pushing their way up through the clutter. At just that moment, traffic came to a complete standstill and I enjoyed the opportunity to sit and stare at these flowers for a few minutes. It struck me that the garbage and ugliness that surrounded them did not detract from their beauty. In fact, in my opinion, they were even more beautiful because of it.
Soon, traffic began to move again and the flowers remained as only a memory. I thought about them for the rest of the drive home and for some time after. I thought how sometimes the world around us can appear dismal and depressing, especially when we focus on the ugly or negative. But like these little wildflowers, if we look for it, there is always beauty to be found too.
As we focus on the beauty in the world, we can also help to make it more beautiful for others. We can be like these little wildflowers on the side of the highway. We can help to make the world a more beautiful and positive place for those around us who are struggling to see beyond the misery and suffering in their own lives.
Through our kindness, compassion, empathy and service we can be the beauty in the world and in the lives of others….