Truth be told. There is a glaring fact that all of us, both men and women, have some sort of infatuation to be attractive: to be beautiful. Which begs the question: What is real beauty? Somebody would ask. Did you ever wonder what prompted us to be like this? Why are we are bombarded with the quest to be beautiful?
You will realize that each and every person has a different perception and definition of beauty. With the wide breadth of descriptions, it is either described as a phenomenon that comes from the inside or from the outside. A point in case, the modern era idea of beauty clings to the concepts that involve the physique of a person. You name it: a fair complexion, a pretty face, luscious lips, a small waistline that comes with a flat stomach, perky breasts, a shapely and propionate bum for ladies and an athletic physique for men, It is more concerned with the outside beauty.
We judge people by their outside beauty. I know I do. However, it is never an excuse to not consider the inner beauty of a person. Kong Hui, better known as Confucius, once said everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. The philosophy exploits the fact that beauty is in the eyes of the beer holder. Scratch that. I meant to write beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. You will see a person’s true aura when you look into their eyes. You can feel the person’s emotions and ambience.
A story is told of a young man who was once at the peak of his life. He was considerate, kind, jovial and helpful. To crown it all, he was handsome and a darling to the ladies. His sense of humour was astounding and wherever he went, he was swarmed with a group of friends, or should I say his admirers. One eventful evening, as he was returning home from a football match, a drunk driver lost control of his vehicle and hit him. He was thrown off the bicycle he was riding and got hit by another car in the opposite lane. The most saddening part of it all was, the driver did not even stop to check on him. The driver stepped on the gas and all that could be seen were diminishing tail lights.
If it were not for the haste at which the Good Samaritan called for an ambulance, he would have lost his life. He had suffered multiple fractures on the legs and hands. There was a noticeable crack on his skull that could send chills up anyone’s spine. Not to mention a wholly damaged face. After a period of about three weeks and six major surgeries, he finally opened his eyes. His parents now saw the light at the end of the tunnel. They had been there every single day, praying for him. He started recovering slowly. After a week, he had finally amassed strength to get up. He walked up to the mirror that was hanged on the wall to look at his face for the first time after the accident. What he saw left him dumbfounded. He looked so horrible that ugly would be an understatement.
“I look ugly now, my friends will never accept me,” he thought to himself. With that thought lingering in his mind, he refused to talk to even his closest friends. His friends got worried about his change in behaviour. One day, while still admitted in the hospital, a little girl whose face was covered by a veil walked up to him.
“I have been watching you. Day in and day out, I see you sulking so much. What could be the matter?” she asked. He was in no mood to talk but something urged him to pour out his heart to the little angel.
“Is that all?” She asked after he had finished telling her his problems. He could not believe his ears. After telling her about all the pain in her heart her response just seemed to border to a mockery.
“You have not seen my face, have you?” She inquired. He responded by shaking his head. She proceeded to remove her veil. What he saw left him breathless. The girl's face was way more horrid than his.
“I was only a little kid when our house was set ablaze by unknown people. My dear mother lost her life trying to save my life. The bursting flames were all around the door and the only way through was the window. She threw me out the window but not far enough. I got my fair share of the raging flames. However, my mother was caught up in the flames. My neighbour came to my rescue when they heard my cries. The doctors gave me a 20% chance of survival. As you can see, God made me stay here.
”Why are you worried just about losing the looks on your face? There are more people that suffer more intense pain than you do. You must be happy for the gift of life. Beauty lies in the heart, not in the face. As long as your heart and deeds are pure, nobody will mind how you look, “she said before disappearing to her bed. He was still dazed by her face but realized the truth in her words. Her words touched his heart. He found the courage and accepted the new phase of his life even with a limping gait and a disfigured face.
The most important thing is managing to balance both inner and outside beauty to enhance opportunities which attribute to an individual’s goals and uniqueness. The simplicity of beauty and the overpowering feeling that a person gets at the sight of it are given as guidelines to discovering beauty conventionally ugly things.
(Photo courtesy of Miss Jedidah Ondigi)