When rain falls on a leopard, it wets him but does not wash off his spots. -African Proverb

This quote is very special to me.

Some nine years ago, when I was a tour guide at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, a colleague of mine brought a piece of cloth that he had picked up from the visitors area. Apparently, one of  the tourists had forgotten it or actively left it there. My colleague asked if any of us would like to hold on to it in case the tourist came back looking for it. I volunteered to be the steward of this cloth until its owner returned.

Years passed by. No owner ever came. And I continue to be its steward till this day.

I held on to this cloth, but what held me on was the African proverb printed on the cloth. As a lover of big cats of all sizes, I loved the reference to the leopard and the proverb itself found a place within me.

Every now and then, when facing a challenging situation, the leopard and her spots enter my awareness and remind me that absolutely NOTHING can wash away the beauty, resilience and spirit within me.

Isn't that true for you, too?

-Sophia Ojha


Thank you Daniel from Madiba.de for contributing this amazing image from Southern Africa of the illusive animal standing with such grace. Madiba.de offers you a chance to witness the beauty and mystery of nature up close whether it is South Africa, Namibia or Mozambique. Check it out!