I came across a patch of thistle while walking. I was annoyed that the thistles covered the path, making it so I could not pass without being scratched. Why weren’t the thistles removed? Why were they allowed to grow in an area where people walked? What value do they have?
As I looked at the thistle, I began seeing it as more than just a nuisance. Sure, the thorns aren’t a lot of fun, but I began to notice the intricacy of the flower. I realized that, while there were parts I don’t like, the plant does have value, and even beauty.
As I continued to watch, a bee landed on the purple flower and I saw, for the first time, the function and purpose of this plant that I have always been quick to cut away. Perception and focus are powerful. If we only focus on the thorns, we will be blinded of the beauty and purpose.