Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses.

Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses. – Alphonse Karr

The rose is a spectacular flower. However, as seen in the background, it is accompanied by thorns. Do you grumble about the thorns?

What does that mean?
Roses, one of the more popular (and, arguably one of the most beautiful) European flowers, have large, sharp, and painful thorns. The thorns will even puncture most general purpose gardening gloves. Special gloves, or extreme caution is required if you are planning to pick a rose without bleeding for it.

There are many, as the quote states, who curse the thorns, whose presence make it difficult and painful to get the prize they so value. However, the quote also states the view from the other direction, the flip side, if you will. The author of the quote states that they are glad that the thorns have roses.

To me, this is a statement of the view of life you wish to have. Do you see the rose and thorns, but grumble because there are thorns of some nature or another keeping you from your prize? Or do you notice that life has both thorns and roses and are thankful that despite the thorns, the roses exist?

Why is your view of the world important?  
This quote is similar to the old question regarding the glass of water. Is the glass half full, or half empty. Do you curse the thorns or celebrate the roses? This is what matters in life, determining if you are an optimist or a pessimist.

Now I’m not saying optimism is always seeing only the good. If you try that with a rose bush, you will quickly find that despite your best effort to ignore the thorns, the thorns will not ignore you. Life is like that as well, no matter what, life will not hesitate to give you feedback.

Nor would I say that being a pessimist is only looking at the thorns and completely ignoring the roses. Even a dedicated pessimist will see the rose and know it’s beauty. They just won’t find it worth the effort to avoid the thorns to get the rose.

Your attitude is up to you. I am mostly an optimist, but I have my days as a pessimist. One thing I do know is that life is easier for me to deal with when I am an optimist. How about you, which world view works better for you?

Where can I apply this in my life?
As I stated in the prior section, I don’t expect to always see only the good side of things. However, I do see an advantage in focusing primarily on the positive things in life. I have found that what you regularly focus on, you will find ways of getting more of those things.

If you focus on thorns, you will see more and more of the thorny problems that are all around you. Your focus will make them seem larger than they actually are, and more frequent than they actually are. You will also find ways to turn non-thorns into thorns, in your mind’s eye.

That doesn’t mean thorns don’t exist if you focus on the roses, but you are less likely to become obsessed with the presence of thorns everywhere if you aren’t focused on them. However, obsessing on the roses may cause you to be a little less cautious among the thorns.

So, we can focus too much in either direction, so we hope that somewhere between the two extremes, we can find a better path. As I discussed earlier, I’m not always optimistic, but that’s the side of the street I try to spend most of my time.

What are the thorns and roses of your life? What keeps you from getting to where you would like to be, and where is that place? Take a moment and consider what is going on in your life, and where you might have a rose bush, complete with thorns.

For an introvert, the roses are people, potential friends. They are everywhere. But so is rejection, the thorns of social interaction. Some introverts stay away from others, as their view of the world is dominated by thorns. Others, willing to risk the thorns, have the world view that allows for the occasional friend amidst the thorns.

What are you willing to do to get past the thorns and reach your rose? What can you do about your view of the world that might help? If you believe that the world stands against you, every random act will be added to the pile of evidence supporting your view of the world. But that would be the all thorns view, wouldn’t it?

Let go of your focus on the thorns, change your view of the world, and see if you can’t get fewer thorns and more roses. It has worked for me, when I remember to work it, and I imagine it just might work for you, if you let it.

From: Twitter, @AR_Foundation
confirmed at :
Photo by chefranden

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5 Responses to Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses.

  1. chinelo Anyaegbu 18 October 2016 at 8:39 am #

    I am so happy to read this cos Ihave been looking for the real meaning of thorns and roses. Thank you sir, I wish to see more of your quote s

    • philosiblog 28 December 2016 at 5:14 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by, and for leaving such a kind comment.

      While I am presently working on other areas of my life, I have well over 1200 quotes on the site, so feel free to search for your favorite author or favorite quotes, or to simply browse thru what I have on the site.

  2. kposh 20 November 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    i love this quote and found your blog searching for the author! such a fresh read.. i consider myself an optimistic realist 🙂 I’m glad I found this! Can’t wait to check out more of your blog!

    • philosiblog 21 November 2012 at 3:44 am #

      Thanks, and I’m glad you found it. There are over 600 posts, so there is a lot to read. Dig in! 8)

  3. Johannes Olofsson 26 July 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    Reblogged this on FILOSOFISK.

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