Monday, January 11, 2010

The flip side

Last time I posted, I was thinking about beauty. Since then, I've done some thinking about ugliness.
In contrast to Mr. Beautiful, I've also come across folks in my life who have made (or are making) choices that have (or will) make them ugly. Interestingly enough, not all those choices are patently wrong, or even objectionable. Some of them, in fact, are encouraged or viewed as healthy. Take, for instance, our culture's fascination with authenticity. I'm all for honesty--don't get me wrong--but it seems there's something in our need to "put it all out there" that can twist around and bite us. Somehow, in our quest to be healthily transparent, we can develop a harsh, self-centered air that holds others at bay.
Or, take for instance, our fascination with self-fulfillment. I think it's glorious that we live at a time & in a place where we even have the time & energy to ask these questions. Most of humanity, sadly, probably hasn't even had a term for such a notion. We're richly blessed to not only know it exists, but to have the freedom to pursue it. But I've also seen that our drive for fulfillment can create a coldness towards others, a sort of self-contained sense of purpose that excludes the needs and desires of those around us.
Interestingly enough, choices like these (and countless others that might be less controversial), when allowed to dominate, show through in our eyes. They shape our face, and I think even determine where some of the inevitable wrinkles will fall.
Which leads me to conclude, with 40 fast approaching, that now is definitely the time to be making choices that will enhance beauty. I think I'd rather like to be remembered someday as "that gorgeous old lady in the checkout lane".

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