A Rose

for the people of Egypt and Somalia

My thoughts and prayers are with them today.

Rose wreaths, garlands, and petals have been discovered in the tombs of ancient Egypt, along with references to them in hieroglyphics. And fossils of this bloom and been found from the former Yugoslavia to Colorado, from Norway to Germany, and from Mexico and Montana.

Roses hold sacred meaning across religions, space, mythology, and time, from symbols of love in Greek myths and Hindu legends, to the motifs of warring parties in the War of the Roses, to the withering damask rose of Syria threatened by civil war, and have been adopted by political factions and in celebrations of beauty and marriage. They have been used as legal tender and romantic offerings, objects of oppression and redemption, and were here long before the idea of a bomb, or money, or a nation, or a human, even existed.

As complex, layered, fragile, evolving, flawed as we are, just like the many ways we have treated this ancient flower, may we strive to find meaning in what connects us all, rather than in what appears to separate us. Hate and love will both always be a part of us, but we can always choose to fight for more of one over the other.

A rose will always die, but the idea of one can last forever.

***

Flynn is an international human rights attorney, an author, a public speaker, a social entrepreneur and innovator, an educator, an ethical fashion designer, and a founder and CEO. She speaks five languages, and has worked with the United Nations, the United States federal government, and international corporations and human rights organizations around the world. Flynn has spoken, taught, and written extensively on issues of economic development, political reconciliation, war crimes, genocide, human and civil rights, humanitarian issues, innovation and design for social impact, and improving access to justice and education.

Learn more about Flynn: flynncoleman.community

Twitter: @flynncoleman

Instagram: @flynncoleman