by Becky Morris
“When I get big will I be beautiful?”
My six-year-old granddaughter, Maggie, was getting her bath the other night. My daughter was drying her off after she got out of the tub and blowing Maggie’s hair dry . That’s when Maggie expressed her concern to her mommy: “When I get big will I be beautiful?”
My daughter answered her in a most splendid way. Her response went something like this….
“Maggie, of course you will be beautiful. You will take care of yourself, wash your hair, brush your teeth and make sure you are always clean. However, there is more to being beautiful. You will be polite to people and treat them kindly. You will share and help others in need. You need to help those who can’t help themselves and always be nice to older people. Those are the kind of things that make you beautiful.”
Too often, we get so hung up on the external features of beauty. We are so quick to judge others by their physical appearance and forget to look for the beauty on the inside. We rush to judgment when someone says the wrong thing or acts poorly in the moment. We easily forget that each person has a good, long story about them, perhaps one worth knowing.
How many times do we miss an opportunity to discover the true nature of a person because we can’t get past the “outside” or a single moment? How hurtful are our actions and obvious exclusions?
If you had some shampoo, a comb, brush and blow dryer, what areas on the inside would you clean up to remove your prejudices based on looks alone?
And we worry about our own beauty in the eyes of others, don’t we, at least to some degree? This shows up in many ways, most of which are perfectly normal, healthy concerns for which we should be unashamed.
How might others measure your beauty? Certainly, your appearance and cleanliness are important; this is a legitimate concern despite the fact our society gives biased attention toward appearance. Your behavior is certainly beautiful or not: on the “Grace Scale”, where would people rate you? How do you know?
- How would you describe the Beauty to which you aspire? How will you sound Beautiful?
- How will you appear?
- How will you act toward others?
- How will you treat people?
- What kinds of things will you say?
- What kinds of things will you do?
- Who will you serve?
- How will you serve them?
Like all the questions we ask at The Intersection of Purpose and Now, spend some time with these. The more specific you can be, the more likely you will see results we all can appreciate.
Again, I love my daughter’s response to my granddaughter about growing up beautiful. Of course, having considered her mother’s guidance, Maggie had more to say. She was listening and taking in all of this information my daughter was giving her. After a few seconds of pondering, Maggie added:
“…and I probably shouldn’t fart.”
Good point Maggie!
Photo credits: Marilyn Barbone and Anna Yakimova, http://www.123rf