“Beauty is only skin deep”, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” ~Unknown
Idioms, quotes, and sayings like this are told to us over and over throughout our lives. They mean that physical beauty is superficial and it is not as important as a person’s intellectual, emotional, and spiritual qualities. Basically beauty lies in the heart of a person. Also beauty cannot be judged objectively, because what one person finds beautiful or admirable may not appeal to another.
Growing up, I was picked often in school and I didn’t consider myself as pretty. Now I am currently faced with an illness that stripped away any beauty I had left. I’ve also seen the beauty in humanity and the ugly in it. I’ve known ugly people with goodness in their hearts and I’ve know beautiful people with ugliness in their hearts. I think I’ve become a bit of an expert on the beauty within a person.
Today, however, I write about a different kind of ugliness and beauty within. Looking at recent events on the news and social media has motivated me to attempt to put a mirror to the faces that are featured in the news and social media blogs. No, I’m not going to get political. Matter of fact, I want to strip all political features out of this message.
In America over the last few years, there have been a lot of angry people who continue to come out in droves to protest, rather fight with, other groups of people who disagree with them. Call these people what you want – Antifa, Neo Nazi, White Nationalists, or whatever. These angry people can be found on both sides of the political aisle and they have been poisoning our minds with hate, or as I see it, with ugliness. They are people who were our friends, our local and national leaders, and they are even found in the entertainment industry.
By that same token, there are people who have been championing for peace. Tho they seem to be far and few between they are out there. These are the people who still have beauty in their hearts. They look into the faces of the ugly every day and still do the right thing for the right reasons. We’ve heard or known of people like this in the past. People like Rosa Parks, Dr Martin Luther King Jr, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa and others. While we don’t need to be just like these people, having any one of their qualities can help each of us be warriors for peace.
I must admit, when I began this, I was headed in a different direction. I want to shift gears just a bit.
In this time and in this place, the political atmosphere has been volatile at best. Everyone is fighting each other and wearing thin our last threads of unity that have held this country together. However, as most of us know, Hurricane(now tropical storm) Harvey is pummeling Texas as I write this. The other night I found myself joining a social media group about surviving this storm after seeing a friend “checking in” that he was safe. I read many of the posts and comments that other people left. As with any major disastrous event, members asked others to either pray for them, their loved ones and the communities affected by this historic storm.
In the past, when disasters have hit an area, many people post and comment positive thoughts for people they don’t even know. Complete strangers praying and leaving kind or inspirational comments. I did not expect to see what I saw this time. I saw the same if not more of these same prayers, comments and thoughts left for those who are in need. Offers to help and asking how to help were common.
What shocked me most about it was that people who voted for President Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders or any of the candidates helped each other. Complete strangers actually reaching out to others in need, their political views be damned. Brother helping brother and sister helping sister instead of fighting. Protesting signs and fists put away for the time being. One thread in particular touched me. Perhaps because I can see myself in her shoes.
There was a young woman all alone with no one to help her evacuate her home because her closest relative lived over 1,000 miles away. She lived at ground zero where most of the destruction happened right outside her door. This woman reached out to this group for prayers and words of comfort as the wind and rain howled thru the night. What she and I both found was human kindness, concern and compassion beyond expectation. There was no one saying, “Well since you’re this race/faith/political party/etc so I’m not going to help you.” or “Since you were to stupid to listen to the authorities and you stayed, you deserve what you get” None of that was said.
This is but one of many instances of the beauty within. This is what makes our country great. This is what we need to see more of on a daily basis not only during times of crisis like this. This is the real meaning of beauty within. Unconditional love, kindness and compassion for each other as human beings no matter what another person’s race, creed, faith, sexual identity or socio-economic status.
Thought for the day: On behalf of all peacekeepers everywhere, put down your angry fists and protesting signs. Get to know someone who is different from you. Understand and respect them, their thoughts and feelings. This is the real beauty in the world.
***Please be sure to read more of my posts