Karla’s Korner: Concrete Strength
Inner strength is defined as “integrity of character, resoluteness of will; mental resistance to doubt or discouragement”. Every once in a while I find myself intrigued by everyday ordinary things that most would overlook, ignore or simply not notice. The wanna be writer in me is always searching for inspiration, seeking ideas from my surroundings. Every once in a while if I pay close attention inspiration trips me up like a crack in the sidewalk; it comes from what I would consider an odd source. American rapper Tupac Shakur shared his thoughts in a poem “The Rose that Grew in the Concrete”
“Did you hear about the rose that grew
from a crack in the concrete?
Proving nature’s law is wrong it
learned to walk without having feet.
Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams,
it learned to breathe fresh air.
Long live the rose that grew from concrete
when no one else ever cared.”
The image of a beautiful rose blooming in the crack of the concrete is powerful as it represents strength and fortitude. When a seed is planted in fertile soil, the conventional way, it will sprout and eventually push through the soft ground; one would not consider that such an extraordinary feat. However, when something so delicate as a sprout, a rose or even a weed pushes through the heaviness of a crack in the pavement, between the rocks in a driveway, the side of the road or a parking lot is I believe a true example of strength; an example to take notice and reckon with.
For the past eleven years I have parked my car in the same spot on the parking lot at work and as I rush to get inside with my teacher garb I am focused on getting to the door without dropping my keys, my coffee or the multitude of things necessary to carry me through the day. Recently as I rushed in the rain to get from the car to the building I dropped my keys on the wet pavement I noticed a small wildflower pushing itself through a crack in the pavement. Taking time to notice its delicate petals and how beautiful and intricate it was I realized how much power that tiny plant possessed. Somehow in the midst of the rigidness of the pavement a tiny seed sprouted, defied the odds and pushed its way toward the sun as it anchored its roots deep in the soil beneath the asphalt; an extraordinary feat I believe.
Trudging through the rain toward the building I noticed a break in the clouds as the sun struggled to peek through. Even in the midst of a dreary day there was a small ray of sunshine and an example of strength in the tiny flower nestled in the crack in the pavement. If we allow it life will find a way to hold us down hampering our strength and stifling our ability to push ourselves to be who we are supposed to be. Lately life has been anything but easy, quite heavy at times causing me to stay beneath the heaviness of it all not allowing myself to continue to bloom; wither even. But somewhere in the midst of the heaviness it becomes apparent that in order to become our true selves we must push our way through the toughness of our life’s pavement, sprout and grow toward our best selves.
Each of us I believe possess a pool if you will of inner strength, mental toughness and a resilience that will allow or assist us in reaching our full potential; the potential to be our own selves. It is necessary to find our focus, stay on the forward path as we work toward our fullest potential.
Knowing that adversity is lurking around the corner we must understand that adversity is merely a stumbling block and if we focus on the positives, even in the midst of the struggle we will find ourselves blooming and ready to begin a new chapter in our life book. Each of us must determine our own settling down place, that place we go to make things better, to clear our minds, soften our hearts and lend a helping hand to others. By seeking out way to help others as well as our selves we will allow ourselves to bloom just as those who share their days and lives with us.
As I reflect on what it is that keeps me buried under the black top of life I find that it is in the struggle, in the deep tough stuff that when embraced, dealt with and allow ourselves to bloom where we are planted. From the words from a favorite quote from the Disney movie “Mulan”
“The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.”
Be yourself, be authentic and be the best version of you there is.
I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
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