If you want to live your life through to the end, you have to live dangerously.

Jeanne Moreau

Living Death

A little bunch of wildflowers lived sheltered in the crevices of an old city wall. Winds and storms failed to disturb them since they were well protected by the high wall and its crevices. For the same reason, the sun’s rays could not burn them nor could the rains ruin them.

There was a rosebush in the neighborhood of this little bunch of wildflowers. The presence of gorgeous roses made the wildflowers feel inferior and ashamed of their own existence. So one fine morning the wildflowers prayed to God, “So long we have lived as faceless flowers; now please turn us into roses.”

God said in answer, “Why get into unnecessary troubles? The life of a rose is very hard. When there is a storm, it shakes it to its roots. And when it blooms, there is already someone around to pluck it. You live a well-protected life, don’t forsake it.”

But the wildflowers insisted, “We have long lived a sheltered life; we now want to live dangerously. Please make us roses for twenty-four hours.”

Other wildflowers pleaded, “Don’t be crazy. We have heard that a few of our ancestors had to suffer terribly because of this very craze to become a rose. Our racial experience says we are okay as we are, we should not try to be roses.’l But the little plant again said, “I want to gossip with the stars; I want to fight with the storms; I want to bathe in the rains. I am determined to become a rose.”

At long last God yielded and one fine morning the little bunch of wildflowers became a rose. And immediately its saga of trials and tribulations began. Storms came and shook its roots. Rains came and it was drowned in water. The midday sun burned its petals and made it suffer immeasurably. At all times it was exposed to dangers from all sides. Once again other elderly wildflowers gathered round the newborn rose and said, “We had told you so; you did not listen. Don’t you see how secure you were in your old life? Granted it had its problems, but they were old and familiar problems, and we were used to them. It was okay. Do you see what a mess you have made of your life?”

To this the new rose said, “You are fools. I say that it is far better to be a rose just for twenty-four hours and live dangerously than to live in lifelong security as little wildflowers protected by a high wall. It was great to breathe with the storms and fight with the winds. I was in contact with the sun and I had a dialogue with the stars. I have achieved my soul and I am so fulfilled. I lived fully and I am going to die fully. As far as you are concerned you live a life of living death.”

Live dangerously and you live right.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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