WoW by CHAR

How Do We Outgrow Our Environment?

If a rose can grow from concrete, we shall overcome.

By Chardonnay Beaver | Influential Speaker, Storyteller, Creator of WOWbyChar, and University of Washington Student.


In the fall of 1999, a collection of Tupac Shakur’s poems were arranged and published as a poetry book titled “A Rose That Grew From Concrete''. “A Rose That Grew From Concrete'' showcased Shakur’s poetic style and functioned as a non-traditional autobiography. Although this book was released three years after his death, it participates in the legacy he left behind.


With that being said, my dad, along with millions of others, owned a copy of “A Rose That Grew From Concrete”. As a child, I would often walk past his coffee table or desk and find this book sitting there. Interested in what stories were inside, I’d flip through the pages, like a magazine, and try to read the dense collection of poetry in one setting. Unfortunately, I never was able to finish reading all of the poems in one setting; however, one poem I will never forget was “A Rose That Grew From Concrete”―also the book title.


As an adult, I now reflect on Shakur’s ability to illustrate how one can, essentially, outgrow their environment. Moreover, how our dreams, and faith to turn them into reality, has the potential to propel us into greater circumstances. For that reason, I believe we all have the power to be a rose that grows out of concrete. Concrete, in terms of the poem, metaphorically represents the ghetto, but concrete for you may represent grief or depression. In fact, the entire world is trying to grow out of the ‘concrete’ of Covid-19. Like that rose that grew from the crack in the concrete, there is light within our current situation.

Words of Wisdom by Char of The Week: What are the basic ingredients for a plant to grow? Water and sunlight. Just like plants, we will have to embrace the rain and sunshine within our days because it’s all necessary ingredients to grow. 1 Corinthians 13:11