While in high school I lived in Nashville, Tennessee where I attended a private, catholic school. During an 'In-School' Mass I happened to notice a poster that stated 'Be the Flower in the Desert'. The image was not real but the truth of the message was real. That message and the image on that poster is with me every hour of every day.
What does it mean to be the flower in the desert? For me, it means that a person should not be afraid to be different or a person should be who they are and be an individual instead of choosing to conform or just being part of the group or what is 'popular'. It also means to me that the most beautiful things in this world are the ones that are the most rare or improbable.
There are numerous examples and demonstrations of what it means to be 'The Flower in the Desert'. It was exciting to see Sandra Bullock win an Oscar for her portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy in 'The Blind Side'. After talking to people about the movie there were some perceptions and comments by a few people that she was or the way Sandra Bullock portrayed her was sort of 'bitchy'. My personal opinion is that if she is considered 'bitchy' then there should be more 'bitchy' people in the world. For me Leigh Anne was portrayed as and currently is a beautiful, strong, confident, and also a loving woman that had nothing to do with her clothes or make-up. Leigh Anne lived in a world of conformity but she chose not to conform. Leigh Anne was beautiful because she opened her heart to another person and chose to be an individual among her peers.
The world is full of pressures to conform. Does that lessen when you are a woman? Or how about when you live in the suburbs? Who has ever heard of 'Keeping up with the Joneses'?
As women we sometimes if not most of the time do not support each other or celebrate our successes. Unfortunately, women compete just as much as men do in our jobs and with our families. Leigh Anne did not compete but rather took herself away from her blessed life to open her heart to another individual. She was an example that not only inspired and changed the lives of her family for the better but maybe, for a few of us as well.
She is not the only example. There have been numerous individuals who chose not to conform came to be considered heroes or great leaders. In the 21st Century, is it up to us to live their example in our everyday life? I believe that Leigh Anne Tuohy is an example of an ordinary person who chose not to conform for the betterment of her family and an example for us all.
It is important to be positive in the face of adversity, to stand by your beliefs no matter what the cost, and most importantly to NEVER be afraid to be yourself. Being beautiful does not have to mean nice hair, nice clothes, and lots of money rather it could mean not being afraid to be you or different in the face of conformity or the pressure to conform. The risk of not being afraid to be 'The Flower in the Desert' is worth it not just for the benefits it will provide to you but the benefit to the lives you touch or the lives you could touch for the better.
Being Sophisticated in the 21st Century means being not being like everyone else or conforming to what society believes you should be, in the end it is being 'The Flower in the Desert'.