The Rose That Grew From Concrete

"You see you wouldn't ask why the rose that grew from the concrete had damaged petals. On the contrary - we would all celebrate its tenacity, we would all love its will to reach the sun. Well... we are the roses, this is the concrete, & these are my damaged petals"... Tupac Shakur (2002).

How Challenge Shapes Us Just As the Rose Grows From Concrete

The Beautiful Rose & Rough Life Beginnings

The 'rose', a very beautiful flower because of its glowing & special colour, wonderful shape etc is widely revered for many good features which it possesses. Many people use it to express love, propose marriage & friendships, decorate both indoor & outdoor parts of their homes, offices & business places, even places of worship. Others use it to express grief, decorate graves, etc.

This rose needs very fertile soil for it to become that beautiful flower that we all love. Butwhen there is no soil & all that's left is just piece of land (farm or garden) covered with concrete, it is very rare for any plant (even weeds) to grow on them. Then, a 'miracle' happens when the beautiful rose grows successfully on this concrete. Expectedly, they cannot grow to become as healthy as those that grew on the fertile soil. They usually have to go through & overcome the most difficult conditions such as those plants that grow in the desert. They usually have damaged & bad petals, the sun scorches them, & they rejoice when they see little water from the rainfall which is very occasional. They have a tough time growing up but the few that survive come out gallantly bright & extremely beautiful. They are successful & proud because they had a worse background (concrete) than those that grew on the fertile soil.

The Reality of our Lives Today

This is the story of a lot of people today, they are figuratively like the roses who grow from bad & uneasy conditions, bad childhoods, tough lives, etc.

These bad conditions are what the 'concrete' represents, they bring about situations that fruatrate the rose (the success, hard-earner). In Tupac's song, "Mama is just a little girl", he refers to the situation of the 'black man' (the rose) growing in the 'ghetto' (the concrete) who had damaged petals; which are the scars of their growing up & the pains of their success. The pains which they went through to become successful.

"We will all celebrate its tenacity, we will all love its will to reach the sun". The tenacity (steadfastness) of this rose is very strong & is therefore celebrated because their success stories are the most inspiring to others. How they achieved success is very groundbreaking & worthy of emulation.

Notable examples of people who experienced this include Tupac Amaru Shakur, Malcolm X, Ben Carson, & so many more.

The Lesson Learned From The Rose

The lesson learned from the story of the rose is that no matter how rough one's situation is, no matter how bad & rough the road may be; there is always a bright light at the end of the tunnel. No matter the troubles we face in life's journey, there is hope for a better day, for change to happen, for success to happen, for beauty to take over.

I believe the story of the rose is my story, the concrete are life's challenges, they are what shape me, they are what makes me tough, they are what brings about the best in me, they are the conditions that makes me successful. The 'damaged petals' of the beautiful rose that grew from the concrete are evidences to show that success was achieved at a price, that life is not easy, that it didn't pass through unscathed, & that pain comes before pleasure.

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About The Author - Emeka Victor Ashibuogwu

Emeka Victor Ashibuogwu is a creative writer, blogger & founder/owner of Real VicJay Blog. He is also a Church librarian, Lover of history, researcher, entrepreneur & rapper. He holds a diploma in Science Laboratory Technology from Yaba College of Technology, Yaba, Lagos. He is from Delta State, Nigeria.

His love for writing for & journalism has led him to create a new adventure, a new profession with further studies. This profession is Medical Journalism. With this, he feels that science (medical) students who have the passion for writing can express & share their ideas, findings scientifically & medically to the world.

The fourth among six children born into a wonderful, humble & hardworking family who have instilled in him many positive values.

"My mom & my twin sister are my greatest motivators".

Inspired by many notable people like Martin Luther King Jr, Tupac Amaru Shakur, Malcolm X & many others, he is also a motivator to his family, peers, church (RCCG, Levites Assembly Parish) & neighbourhood through his words of wisdom & encouragement. He is also a columnist for his Church's monthly magazine, "The Voice of God" & Speaker at occasional motivational programs organised by the church & other churches He hopes to fulfil his purpose & help many others to do so too.