Sure, I always thought they were pretty, but I recently learned the symbolic nature of the lotus flower:
The lotus flower represents the struggle of life at its most basic form. It starts as a small flower down at the bottom of a pond in the mud and muck. It slowly grows up towards the waters surface continually moving towards the light. Once it comes to the surface it blossoms into a beautiful flower.
As the lotus flower grows up from the mud into a object of great beauty, people also grow and change into something more beautiful. Like the flower they have been at the bottom in the muddy, yucky dirty bottom of the pond but have risen above this to display a life of beauty.
The lotus flower is often seen as a symbol for awakening to the spiritual reality of life and can also represent a hard time that has been overcome.