We Are Beautifully Complex, Like the Nature of a Rose

EVERY INDIVIDUAL IS COMPOSED of qualities that intertwine like the nature of a rose. As we experience life, our roots grab hold of the earth; as we fail and search for what it means to live, we develop budding leaves.

We begin to blossom as the sun’s warmth urges us to grow, despite the seasons of darkness or the sprouting of our thorns.

We feel our thorns are hindering, but they’re a part of who we are, piercing and essential. Our thorns make us human.

We wait for the right circumstances to bloom and display our unique colors fully. But the essence we withhold, which we think needs water and just the right amount of care, is now ready to bloom.

We are who we’re supposed to be.

From the moment we’re born until the day we die, our journey isn’t to find the right way to live — it’s to understand our way.

There is no right way to live, as no rose is more beautiful than another.

I love this world. I don’t just want to learn about its fascinating people, cultures, and perspectives; I need to.

What do I know about people — about anything? What does one honestly know, besides what’s in our heart?

Nothing, for there are no absolutes. We only have our individuality, our gift to impart in this world.

In the fervent effort to carve our path and find what makes us happy, we can sometimes become our greatest obstacle. We think we have the answers; what’s worse, we imagine others do.

But true happiness can only blossom when we’re living in a way that feeds our soul.

We don’t know what’s right or wrong for anyone but ourselves; how can we? There is no one-size-fits-all key to happiness.

If something brings you joy and hurts no-one else, do it. That should be the motto of our modern day.

Humanism has taught us that something can be bad only if it causes somebody to feel bad,

writes historian and author Yuval Noah Harari in his book Homo Deus.

In his books: Sapiens, Homo Deus, and 21 Lessons for the 21st-Century, Harari explores the history of humankind from the very beginning.

In Homo Deus, he looks towards the future to consider what humanity may look like as our priorities as human beings change.

Harari examines the humanist philosophy, which holds that humans control their fate as opposed to some divine or supernatural force.

Humanism has been around for thousands of years, but in our modern-day, I see humanism not only as the idea that people control their fate.

I see it as an acceptance of all people — any religion, race, nationality, gender, culture, or perspective.

Large parts of the planet still haven’t acknowledged this belief, and they may never. But faith in humanism means striving to see humanity progress.

Being open-minded and willing to learn are the necessary steps forward.

The sooner we let go of imagining we understand the world, the sooner we’ll be liberated.

As each day passes, an avid curiosity builds in my soul — I strive to find what makes me truly happy. As the sun rises each morning, I wonder what I know.

True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us,

said the Greek philosopher Socrates in the fifth century BCE.

The word philosophy comes from the Greek roots philo — meaning “love” and sophos — meaning “wisdom.” Philosophy translates to the love of wisdom.

To be wise is to accept we know nothing.

It takes energy to pursue the most difficult questions, such as the meaning of happiness. There is no one true meaning.

It requires love.

To love this world is to challenge it and not to blindly accept what is.

When we understand this principle, we’re able to see what’s before us with an unburdened mind, as clear as the mountains we hope to scale.

It’s easier to accept the world the way it is. However, that wasn’t good enough for a philosopher like Socrates.

He desired not just to acquire facts and knowledge to appear intelligent or to holster them like ammunition to use in the heat of an argument. As a philosopher, he strove to find the truth.

The first step to understanding was letting go of knowing.

When we care enough to ask why, we demonstrate our willingness to evolve. The world needs us to question; it challenges us to inspire; it’s hungry for our light.

Before the last few centuries, humans assumed they played a part in some great cosmic plan “devised by the omnipotent gods or the eternal laws of nature,” writes Harari.

The cosmic plan gave meaning to human life, but also restricted human power. Humans were much like actors on a stage.

The script of life was pre-written; if people followed that script and acted out their role, they believed paradise awaited in the afterlife.

However, when Nicholas Copernicus sparked the Scientific Revolution by publishing On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres in 1543, humans realized that the answers to the most profound questions weren’t in the holy scriptures.

Maybe if God didn’t have all the answers, perhaps each human was placed on this earth for a different reason than only making it to heaven.

The human spirit, which has been the guiding force of humanity since the beginning of time, attained value.

People began looking within and questioned what was previously considered unquestionable. Religion didn’t become any less important, but it was no longer the doctrine which alone constituted a correct life, Harari writes.

Accordingly, the central religious revolution of modernity was not losing faith in God. Rather, it was gaining faith in humanity.

I’m not saying God does or doesn’t exist. The only thing that matters is what you believe. I feel there’s an energy, a balance of light and darkness, a magic in nature that has seen time immemorial and hasn’t changed.

This energy brought warmth to our ancestors as they huddled around the fire for the first time, watching the flame dance and sway, as if that was God’s work.

This magic urged on the heroes of our modern-day and centuries past to stand for what they believed. This light has guided humankind since the beginning.

When we cast aside our preconceptions, we honor a world that wants to get better. To cherish our differences and commonalities as people by being genuinely open-minded is the real pursuit of happiness.

We must appreciate simply being alive.

The search for happiness is why I write; it’s why we do what we love. It’s why we seek power and prestige; it’s why we try to fit in. The influence of societal norms weighs down on us, and we often succumb.

Maybe we’ll be happy when we’re normal, just like everybody else. But fitting in doesn’t bring happiness. What others think means nothing.

What makes us happy lies within us, waiting to experience the world; what makes us happy is being our authentic selves — even if nobody else understands who that is.

We mustn’t wait for the sun to shine so we can fully blossom. Now is the season to show who we are, a rose, unlike any other.

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