Saturday, January 26, 2013

Thoughts For Today -- Beauty

What is beauty?

We exclaim over a panoramic mountain view, a blazing orange sunset or a river blasting its way through a mountain ravine. We have nothing at stake, we either love what we see or we don't.

All that changes when we measure human beauty. Then it becomes personal.

We each have our own idea of what a beautiful person looks like. However, there are some general societal guidelines. We admire symmetrical faces, large eyes and we consider a slender body to be more appealing than one that is fluffy. 

We know there are no perfect human beings, yet we are quick to find fault in ourselves or in others. What happens to those who are born with what society deems to be unattractive features?

Because we set dispassionate standards there are children, teens and adults who look in the mirror each day and see something they don't like, something they fear will make them unacceptable to society. Their nose is too big, eyes too small, hair too thin. And there are so many teens and pre-teens who are afraid to eat because they might get fat.

My family is no different. We struggle with the same issues.

Yesterday, my oldest daughter, Kristi, was about to knock down one of those issues. She stepped into the oral surgeons office with some trepidation even though the surgery was something she'd looked forward to for many months with anticipation. It would be the day she got her smile back.

When Kristi was a baby she contracted spinal meningitis and waged a ferocious battle for her life. She was the victor, but she went on with some long-lasting damage to her body. One issue we were unaware of was her teeth.  Due to the damage done when she was an infant, she's been losing teeth over the last couple of years. Her "imperfection" became severe enough that going out in public became a painful experience. She was embarrassed and though she's one who smiles easily, she worked hard to keep her smile in check out of embarrassment.

Kristina with her new smile.
Yesterday, she got her smile back. We're all thankful and it's wonderful to see her smile with confidence once more.

I'm rejoicing. I know what it feels like to be different. I lived with a severe speech impediment as a child, and we all know how cruel children can be. As an adult, I've struggled with my weight. Several years ago, I lost a good deal of my extra poundage and was startled at how differently people treated me--they were kinder and more respectful. They listened more attentively. I was seen as being more "acceptable".

That's not okay.

People (myself included) make judgments about others every day. It's not right. But it's life.  We make decisions about a person because of the way he is dressed, or how he looks. We even  make assessments according to what kind of car someone drives. It's time we changed our thinking. One look tells us nothing, really. We don't know the person's story. We don't know who they are. And the truth is, that no matter what the story may be, who are we to judge? God created each of us. And He loves us equally.

Let's try to withhold judgements. Let's try to be kind and respectful. And let's love one another. Let's contribute to making the world a safe place so we can each step out into our communities without feeling embarrassed or fearful.

After all, only God knows a man's heart. He is the only one with the right to judge.

Grace and peace to you from God,


1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:30 PM

    I really enjoyed reading this Bonnie. And, you are right about it all. It is a shame, but true. I am glad your daughter made it through the meninigitus. But, sorry about the teeth. So glad about her surgery. She will have more confidence now. Pretty young lady. Know how it can be about the smile. My youngest at 50 had bad teeth for years and had no Ins. or money to get them taken care of. Finally she was forced 2 years ago to find somewhere she could get a loan. Finally got ot from her boss. Now she ccan smile again. Her bottom jaw is smaller than the top tho, so still has trouble with the false teeth, but no way she could get the permanent teeth. She still has a habit of putting her hand up to her mouth and rubbing her top lip. I know she did that for a long time because of missing and rotten teeth. Sad, but better now! Maxie