(Awaken) Inner beauty always reflects on the outside. This is something we have all heard time and again. But then, do we spend less time in front of the mirror? Do we still pay attention to outward appearances and draw a lot of conclusions based on those? We have not stopped making external appearances a topic of conversation at most social gatherings – business or otherwise. We still spend a lot of time getting ready for an event, office, function or a party.
Roald Dahl wrote, “You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” This makes me wonder what it would be like if the way we lived reflected in our looks. Perhaps we would all try harder to be better people.
What if one day our inner self and physical self were turned inside out? How would that impact our looks and confidence? Would most of us be able to come to terms with what we see?
If we were to develop a visible scar on our skin for every ill intention or negative thought, would we continue to
have such thoughts?
If we would lose clumps of hair every time we were mean, would it stop us?
If every time we hurt someone intentionally it added a few pounds to our weight, would we still do it?
Per contra, what if every time we teach a child or feed the needy, or show kindness, we drop some weight around our waist or grow back some hair or lose a wrinkle, would we be more willing?
If taking the time to answer children’s questions or helping senior citizens needing assistance could reduce signs of ageing, maybe we all would develop patience and kindness.
Looking good has become so important to us that it could inspire us to take steps that we usually would not consider.
Maybe if we lived our lives the way Dahl suggests we would be very different people. I wonder how radically different our priorities, decisions and personalities would be in a world where doing good is rewarded so visibly and tangibly that it becomes second nature.
Often I look in the mirror and wonder if I can confidently say my inner self is better than my reflection.
Am I almost at a point where I do not have to look at it to check myself for anything more than the necessary daily activities like shaving, flossing and combing?
There is a short story that could lend its moral to nature’s way of working when we are able to see good thoughts and share good thoughts for others also to seed.
There was a farmer who grew excellent quality corn. Every year he won the award for the best corn. One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seeds with his neighbours.
“How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbours when they are entering in competition with yours each year?” the reporter asked.
“Why sir,” said the farmer, “Don’t you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbours grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbours grow good corn.”
So it is with our lives. Those who want to live meaningfully and well must help enrich the lives of others, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. The quality of response and joy depends on the quality of thoughts and love we share and spread.
And those who choose to be joyful must help others find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all.