And so the rose withers…


A rose blossoms.

Once a small, dark, gnarly little plant, with time the rose grows. Tiny, colorful petals begin to appear, and the once-useless rose now develops an allure, a certain bewitching quality that affects all who venture into its proximity.

As its beauty grows, however, the rose begins to develop thorns. These barbs cause pain to whoever handles the rose in the wrong way. But the rose cares not, for as the thorns grow, so do the petals, and the rose’s beauty with them. This mitigates the pain caused, making the painful little flower’s presence tolerable nonetheless.

Because of this, as the rose’s charm and harm grow in tandem, it never learns to reign in the latter. Its beauty overshadows the painful barbs it uncaringly allows itself to develop, confident that, because of its loveliness, it is invincible, impervious to all criticisms of character. Its disregard for others develops as its allure deepens.

But one day the rose begins to wither.

It’s charm begins to fade ever so slightly. At first this is no cause for alarm, as there still remains plenty enough beauty to compensate for the thorns. But then the unthinkable happens. The pain outweights the pleasure. No longer can the charm cover the harm. At some point, the beauty of the rose fades to the point where it is no longer worth it to deal with the discomfort of its thorns.

Now the rose is trapped. It spent its entire existence relying on its superficial charms to justify its existence, allowing itself to develop thorns and thoughtlessly cause pain to others. It never learned to provide another legitimate use, never cared enough for others to rerfain from bringing them harm. Now its usefulness has come to and end.

And so the rose withers…

Photo credit: David Yan

Joël Valenzuela
Joël Valenzuela
Joël Valenzuela is the editor of The Desert Lynx. He is also the founder of the Rights Brigade, a mover for the Free State Project, and a martial art instructor.