Definition of Cacti: a succulent plant with a thick, fleshy stem that typically bears spines, lacks leaves, and has brilliantly colored flowers.
In a sea of millennial egg shells, I am more likely to identify with a cactus.
In a world of safe spaces and participation ribbons, I am more likely to end up in an open field chasing show cattle (who caught a wild hair, drug me and then trampled me on it’s way out of the trailer).
So what does any of this have to do with a cactus anyway?
Recently, an immense amount of articles I have come across have been, for lack of a better term, whiney. Following the election there has been an uprising of people who feel it is acceptable, and even admirable, to portray themselves as a victim. Girls complaining about how other women have been mean to them; Men complaining that women are treated differently at work; Women grumbling that men treat them unfairly. I cant stand to see another girl crying on social media about how someone did them wrong. It pains me to see women using their time to wear rediculous hats while walking down the street.
Bears spines, lacks leaves. My dad would call this “thick-skinned.” Where are your “spines” ladies? Cacti lack leaves because they are easy targets for animals to get ahold of and they are prime locations for evaporation of the water that every plant counts on to thrive. Most of the women I hang around, agree that they do not want to parade their weakness around so that people can latch onto it and steal their joy. Why are we allowing animals to rip our dignity from us? It’s time to lose those leaves and get some spines. Instead of crying about how we are mistreated it’s time to strengthen our defense. Athought some may not agree, I am not empowered by weakness. I am liberated by strength. You want more pay for your work? Be the best, chase that promotion, put in the extra time and effort. You want women to treat you with more respect? Be an example, extend kindness to someone you may have overlooked before. It’s time to make attacking you an action that in turn injures the one who is attacking. Make them wish they had treated you differently because of the beautiful human you have come to be. If there is one thing I know, it is that writing on Facebook everyday about how someone has mistreated you will not change your situation. In fact it may make you a bigger target to people who will view you as weak. Instead, get out and learn something, try harder and dream bigger. Your blessings are your defense.
Succulent; tender. Do not misinterpret this article as an encouragement to be cold. Women were created to be tender hearted. God made us in such a way that we would be caretakers and empathizers. Hard hearted women will rarely make a positive difference in the world. It may be difficult for us to reveal our soft spots to people who may leave a scar, but scars build character and I have never seen a Saguaro that didn’t have a few. I once cherished a quote that said “What is bad for your heart is good for your art.” Looking back I realize now that nothing is “Bad for your heart,” every situation we are put in makes our hearts stronger and that is what is truly good for art.
Finally, brilliantly colored flowers: This is the art, the passion, the talents. Every year all parts of a cactus work together to produce a flower. If the flower fails to bloom what is the purpose of the survival of that cactus? What are we without our passions, our hobbies, our callings? Every person has their thing that they are meant to contribute to the work of the Lord. Whether you sing, talk pictures, make things or are outgoing, use that talent! Nothing is more disheartening than seeing a lone cactus fail to bloom in a sea of flowering cacti.
Love, Your Cactus.