Quote Response

By: Lexi

“A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.”

Zen Shin

         This quote has many deeper meanings that not everyone may understand when reading it. From a surface level, this quote appears to be talking only about flowers. Although, I believe that Shin wrote it in such a way that readers can infer other things it may be referring to. When I read this quote I thought of myself and situations I have experienced. Many people struggle to be themselves around others people who tend to be negative and not supportive of them. I am one of those people; I am very self-conscious about everything I do. I always think of what response from other people I will get regarding whatever it is I am debating doing. The struggle to fit in can be over the simplest things like what words will come out of my mouth next or maybe something a little bigger like if I am going to join a new sport or club. Every day, everyone in the world is influenced to do bad things they know they should not be doing them all because they want to be looked at as cool by other people. It is sad, really. Nobody is comfortable in their own skin. I cannot say that I am comfortable in my own skin all the time, because I am definitely not, but I am trying to gain more confidence.

         This quote says that flowers choose to bloom regardless of the other flowers around it. In a human sense, it is saying that we need to choose to allow ourselves to change and be who we want to be without seeking the approval of other people. Doing this is harder than it seems. Being confident is hard, especially when you want to feel accepted. People are rude and hurtful. It is the reality of this world. People will put other people down in order to make themselves feel better. It is unfortunate that the world has come to be this way. We need to start building others up instead of tearing them down. We need to encourage rather than discourage.

We need to love on instead of hate on. We need to treat each other with equal love, respect and kindness. It should never matter if someone looks or acts differently than yourself; we need to always be treating others the way we want to be treated in return.

         One word that stuck out to me in this quote is ‘competing’. Flowers do not compete with each other while they grow. They do not try to grow taller or more vibrant than the others around it, nor should they. All flowers, regardless or their width, length, color, or any other feature they may have, are unique and special in their own ways. The same goes for humans. We spend so much time competing with the people around us because we want to look the best. In reality, we should be doing the complete opposite. We should support our peers, encourage them to do their best, and be happy for them when they accomplish great things. Every single person has different abilities and talents. There are no two people exactly alike in this world, yet we act like only one person is allowed to be good each activity that exists. For example, there are millions of people who play football, and each individual adds a unique feature to the team they play for. It would be no fun if each player had the exact same abilities because nothing unexpected or exciting would ever happen. This is why we need more diversity; we cannot act like only one person can be good at football, or any other thing. To have a successful team, it needs to have many players that are all better at certain positions than others. This way, when it comes time to compete in a game, the team will consist of a variety of players that all contribute to different aspects the team needs in order to succeed in winning the game. It would be impossible to win a game having players who all had the exact same abilities. This is why we as a society need to encourage the people around us to pursue their dreams. We cannot be afraid to be who we want to be no matter what other people say. We need to stop competing and start accepting. We need to challenge ourselves and the people around us to do what they love instead of doing the things they think others what to see them doing. We need to become a team-a team who builds up.

         ‘Bloom’. Such a simple, ordinary word, yet, it drastically impacts this quote in a wonderful way. To bloom, as a flower means to open up, shine, and to share its beauty with the world. To bloom in a human way has a similar meaning. We cannot be afraid to open up, and show who we are to the world. Showing your true self, even if it takes more time than you expected, always pays off in the end.

         I used to find it extremely difficult to show my friends who I really was. I always acted so differently around them compared to how I acted at home. I always felt like once I began to act one way, I could never change because they wouldn’t accept the real me. I have slowly learned that true friends do not care how crazy you can be or what weird things you do, or even about the ‘flaws’ you believe you have. Real friends accept you no matter what. Sometimes it can be difficult, and can take time for them to get used to. Although, your true friends always loves you for who you are.

         Many flowers grow in dull colors, and odd shapes. But once they have fully grown and have bloomed, their inner beauty radiates. The same goes for humans. One’s true self radiates when they embrace who they are. It always feels so rewarding and joyful when being who you want to be no longer has to be hidden. Most people, until they grow to be comfortable in their own skin, walk around as if they are weird and unaccepted. Once you can accept yourself, the world will too and it will always feel so much more rewarding.

         Blooming where you are planted, are simple words I live by. Most people at one point in their lives end up somewhere they did not expect they would be nor do they want to be. I have learned that sometimes the greatest things come out of the most difficult situations. You have to choose to make the best of your life and the things you have to deal with, and choosing to see the light through the darkness. You have to choose to be thankful for what you do have rather than dwell on what you do not have. To bloom is to accept who you are. To bloom is to show others you are confident. To bloom is to realize that you cannot change everything about yourself and learning to be okay with it. To bloom is to have courage to change the things to change the things that can be changed. To bloom is to be content. To bloom is to be yourself.


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