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Thanks For The Flower
Once upon a time, before I had grasped onto a proper personality and I was still the moldable form of a child, someone presented me with a gift.
I did not think it odd that a stranger would give me something. I did not think to give him something in return other than a “Thanks!” and a smile.
What the stranger (who is nameless to this day) gave me was nothing more than a drawing. It was in pencil, on a thick sheet of paper. He was quite skilled, and had depicted a scene of a crowded city. It was in beautiful detail. It showed the litter lining the streets, the hustle of people moving about the sidewalk. There was a vendor in the corner; doing what he did best. Pigeons flocked around it. The sky was a murky gray, the sun was dull. Miraculously, through all of this gloom, a little flower grew between the cracks in the sidewalk, off to the side. No one dared to step on it. Not any of the individually drawn people dared venture close to it’s beauty. It was small, but it was there. The stranger handed me this picture, and he said only one thing: “Because you stand out too.”
I did not know what he meant. I simply liked the picture. So I kept it, and I thanked him, and then I grasped my mother’s hand and we continued down the street.
That was the last time I saw that stranger.
Now that picture is framed in my room. Since I have grown older, I find I can appreciate it’s intricate design. Each person was so clearly outlined and defined. They all wore different expressions and had different clothes. However, they all moved the same. It was clear they were all tired, seasoned, city folks.
I don’t know how long it took that stranger to draw the picture, but I know he certainly put effort into it. It makes me wonder why he gave it away. I wonder who he is. Perhaps he is a famous artist, who felt like he wanted to give something to a child who would not know of him. Or maybe he works part-time at a café and only drew that picture for the sake of drawing, but then gave it to me because he could. Who knows? We live in a great world with fantastic people, none like the other, who can choose to do what they want. No life shall ever be the same: just as in the picture. Each person is different, each person is their own. However, the flower is amazing because it pushed past it’s expectations and wowed the world. It stood out from the crowd--not for the sake of standing out--but for the pleasure of being beautiful in a world of gray. It did not need anyone to say that it was beautiful in order to grow. It started as an ugly seed. So much potential, but so little chance. Then it was a stem and leaves. Nothing remarkable. In fact, most would call it a weed. It was lucky to have not been crushed or uprooted, and on that luck it bloomed. That is the flower. The person who acknowledges their greatness, their potential, and what the world has given them, and turns it into something others can behold. Only then may you be a flower, and not just one of the crowd.
That picture had been given to me when I was young, but it has stayed with me for as long as possible. It has made me a better person. It has given me something to think about, something to remember, and something to pass on. It has given me optimism and an understanding of life. But most of all, it has given me inspiration in every aspect. It has been a guide to me.
“Because I stand out too.”
Throughout history there has always been a struggle to define life. Science has done it, but literature is far behind. This man summed it up in one picture.
And as they say, “A picture is worth one thousand words.”
So I write these words to the Stranger, who may one day read this. I thank him for all he has done for me in his selfless act. I wish him the best for the future and I hope his past was just as great. I write for him, as he drew for me. To pass on not information: but knowledge.
His picture will always be my dream. To be able to write something of a magnitude that, if presented to a child, they would grow into a Person holding it in their hand. That, through all of life’s difficulties, that will be a strength, a light, a guide. To have mastered your own life and knowledge so perfectly that, in a simple page, you could communicate such understand to another. Once again I thank the stranger. I will look for him with the rest of the flowers.