A rose is a rose and you cannot change it; regardless of the names, you call it. Though it is not the actual line, these words originated from a play called “Romeo and Juliet”. It was written by William Shakespeare. Juliet has told her lover that Romeo’s beauty isn’t changed or affected by his family’s name. If you don’t know, Romeo and Juliet were deeply in love with each other and their respective families hated each other.
Often time, our emotions and experiences can shape how we see our circumstances and the people around us. They can cause you to see the world through the lens of depression, anger, grief, misery, fear and so forth. At the same time, our emotions and experiences can cause one to see the world through a rose-colored lens.
What is the danger of a rose-colored lens? It can cause you to be oblivious to the problems in front of you. I would love to say that Romeo and Juliet were obvious to the feud between their families. However, I did check and it appears they did learn of the history between their families.
Yet, they did not care for Romeo and Juliet were passionately in love with each other. Such passion can easily blind you to the reality surrounding you. I’m certain that William Shakespeare would have loved the “no negativity” train. For it would have fit perfectly with the play of “Romeo and Juliet”. Here is why.
Romeo and Juliet were idealistic in their love for each other. Today, we’d say they were overly positive or optimistic and they were in desperate need of tempering. Here is the problem. If you don’t deal with the truth of a situation then you are not likely to change anything. I’m not saying that we should mire ourselves in negativity. For it will only lead to depression, despair, and hopelessness.
Just as there is a danger of being overly negative, there is a danger in being overly optimistic. There is a third option and it requires the cultivation of a balanced view of the world, around us. What do I mean by this?
For one, you don’t get to ignore the reality of a situation. The families of Romeo and Juliet bitterly hated each other. This blind hatred is very much a key reason these young children died. An optimist’s viewpoint isn’t going to change that reality. At the same time, a pessimist’s viewpoing=t would only perpetuate the problems seen in the play.
According to SparkNotes’ notes on Romeo and Juliet, it seems Shakespeare didn’t intend for there to be an easy out. It has been several years since I saw a play on Romeo and Juliet. I’ve also had the dubious pleasure of struggling with reading the text of the play. For this reason, I am thankful for SparkNotes.They helped me in discovering some of the hidden treasures in Romeo and Juliet.
Why did I start off with the line, “A rose is a rose. By any other name, it is still a rose and its fragrance is sweet.” My goal has been to make a point. Our perception of a person does not change the reality of who the person is. However, it does shape our attitude towards someone. The same point applies to our situational circumstances.
The blind optimist will rush forward into who knows what. On the surface, it seems a good idea to have a positive attitude. “Let’s go to that party! Who cares if it is hosted by the enemy of my family!” Such is the attitude of a lovesick Romeo. He gave no thoughts to the very real dangers.
The pessimist will refuse to see anything good. Though they are good at spotting the problems; it is all they see. Romeo could have played the pessimist and never go to the party. If so, he would never have met Juliet and there wouldn’t have been much of a play.
It is not wrong to ignore problems when they exist. However, it does no good to fixate on it. It is better to look for the solutions and move forward. Such is the viewpoint of a hope-filled person. This person will see the problem and will address it.
If done in the person’s own strength, it will yield limited results. However, a Christ-filled view can a whole lot further. Yes, I do believe Phil 4:13 and I can do all things through Christ. At the same time, it is not an excuse to act like an idiot. Didn’t Jesus say something about this in Matt 4:7?
A hope-filled person simply says, “With Christ’s help, I can face the challenges in front of me. I will look forward to a hope-filled future; however, I won’t despair if it doesn’t work out. Why? It is because my hope is in Jesus and not my own strength.”
I am hopeful that you found this blog post to be of some value. I had that line from Shakespeare in my head and I couldn’t get rid of it. I trust that I didn’t take that line too far out of context. Classic literature can be a great source for surprising inspiration and used in amazing ways.