The Ambitious Violet
There was a beautiful and fragrant violet, who lived peacefully with her friends, and swayed happily amidst the other flowers in a garden. One morning, she saw a tall and handsome rose standing proudly and reaching high into space, like a burning torch upon an emerald lamp.
The violet opened her blue lips and said, "What an unfortunate am I among these flowers, and how humble is the position I occupy in their presence! Nature has made me to be short and poor. I live very close to the earth and I cannot raise my head toward the blue sky, or turn my face to the sun, as the roses do."
The rose heard her words, laughed and said, "How strange is your talk! You are fortunate, and yet you cannot understand your fortune. Nature has bestowed upon you fragrance and beauty which she did not grant to any other. Cast aside your thoughts and be contented, and remember that he who humbles himself will be exalted , and he who exalts himself will be crushed."
The violet answered, "You are consoling me because you have what I crave . You seek to embitter me with the meaning that you are great. How painful is the preaching of the fortunate to the heart of the miserable! And how severe is the strong when he stands as advisor among the weak!"
Nature heard their conversation. She approached and said, "What has happened to you, my daughter violet? You have been humble and sweet in all your deeds and words. Has greed entered your heart and numbed your senses?" In a pleading voice, the violet answered her, saying, "Oh great and merciful mother, full of love and sympathy, I beg you, with all my heart and soul, to grant my request and allow me to be a rose for one day."
Nature responded, "You know not what you are seeking; you are unaware of the hidden disaster behind your blind ambition." But the violet insisted. In the end, Nature granted the violet's request and turned her into a tall rose.
At eventide the sky became thick with black clouds, sending forth a great rain and strong winds. The storm tore the branches and uprooted the plants and broke the stems of the tall flowers, sparing only the little ones who grew close to the earth. When the storm calmed and the sky cleared, none of the flowers had escaped the wrath of Nature except the group of small violets, hiding by the wall of the garden.
Having lifted her head and viewed the tragedy of the flowers and trees, one of the small violets smiled happily and called to her companions, saying, "See what the storm has done to the haughty flowers!" Another violet said, "We are small, and live close to the earth, but we are safe from the wrath of the skies."
At that moment the queen of violets saw by her side the converted violet, hurled to earth by the storm and distorted upon the wet grass like a limp soldier in a battlefield. The queen of the violets lifted her head and called to her family, saying, "Look, my daughters, and meditate upon that which greed has done to the violet who became a proud rose for one hour. Let the memory of this scene be a reminder of your good fortune."
The dying rose moved, gathered her last strength, and quietly said,"You content and meek fools, I have never feared the storm. Yesterday I, too, was satisfied and contented with life. I could have lived the same life you are living now by clinging with fear to the earth. I could have waited for winter to shroud me with snow and deliver me to Death. I am happy now because I have probed outside my little world into the mystery of the Universe - something which you have not yet done. I could have overlooked greed, but as I listened to the silence of the night, I heard the heavenly world talking to this earthly world, saying, 'Ambition beyond existence is the essential purpose of our being.' At that moment my spirit revolted and my heart longed for a position higher than my limited existence. I realized that the abyss cannot hear the song of the stars, and at that moment I started fighting against my smallness and craving for that which did not belong to me, until my rebelliousness turned into a great power, and my longing into a creating will - Nature granted my request and changed me into a rose."
那奄奄一息的玫瑰动弹了一下，攒起最后一点力气，平静地说：“你们这些知足安分的傻瓜，我从来就不惧怕狂风暴雨。昨天，我对生活也很心满意足。我本可以像你们现在这样，战战兢兢地贴在地上生活，本可以等待寒冬来以白雪裹我尸，再把我打发到死神那里去。但此时此刻，我很快乐，因为我已经迈出了自己小小的天地，触碰到了宇宙的奥秘，这是你们不曾做到的。我本可以不为贪心所动， 可是，在万籁俱静的夜晚，我侧耳细听，听见上天对尘世说：‘心怀鸿鹄之志，方可不枉活一世。’就在那一刻，我的灵魂奋起反抗了， 我的心开始渴求一个超出我有限生存空间的更高天地。我意识到：身处深渊是听不到繁星歌唱的。就在那一刻，我开始跟自己的渺小过不去，开始追求那些本不属于我的东西，直到我的叛逆化作一股巨大的力量，我的渴望化作一个脱胎换骨的愿望——大自然答应了我的请 求，将我变成了玫瑰。”
The rose became silent for a moment, and in a weakening voice,mingled with pride and achievement, she said, "I have lived one hour as a proud rose; I have looked at the Universe from behind the eyes of the rose; I have heard the whisper of the sky through the ears of the rose and touched the folds of Light's garment with rose petals . Is there any here who can claim such honor?" Having this spoken, she lowered her head, and with a choking voice she gasped, "I shall die now, for my soul has achieved its goal. I have finally extended my knowledge to a world beyond the narrow cavern of my birth. This is the design of life. This is the secret of existence." Then the rose quivered, slowly folded her petals, and breathed her last with a heavenly smile upon her lips - a smile of fulfillment of hope and purpose in life - a smile of victory.