We dwell a lot on physical beauty – the media conditions us that way and really, blogs don’t help do they? 😉 But there is a bit more to beauty than just the physical exterior. Granted, appearances and first impressions are important. I will concede that and I do believe in putting your best face forward. However, if you want to maintain any sort of friendship or relationship, it comes down to your inner beauty.
I’ve been reminded of this over this week by a few unpleasant incidents, so I’d like to share 5 concepts of inner beauty I think makes someone beautiful, physical attributes and cosmetics aside. Also the concepts I try to live by.
I find a person with good manners beautiful. Sadly, manners seem to be a thing of the past and I’m not sure why it is so. Please, Thank you, Excuse Me and Sorry seem to be alien concepts and people seem to delight in being “blunt” when really, they are just being rude. There are nice ways to say things without being hurtful; well unless you are a sadist and enjoy reveling in another’s misery in which case, Purgatory is a good place for you. I don’t think these are old fashioned concepts at all. Good manners never go out of fashion.
Cynicism is viewing something with a critical eye. Negativity is seeing only the dark side of things uncritically. They aren’t one and the same. I may be cynical but I try also to be positive about things. Why dwell only on what’s bad or what you don’t have. Instead, you could just as easily strive towards attaining what you don’t have, which is a more positive outlook on life. The easy way is to sit around, moan to anyone who’d listen, do nothing about it and make everyone around you miserable even as you make yourself miserable. Its easy to point out another’s faults. Its harder to temper that with kindness and positivity and to help another improve. It is the latter that is beautiful for nothing beautiful was ever achieved without a bit of work.
Etiquette or Netiquette
More than knowing which fork or spoon to use at the dining table, etiquette, courtesy and politeness reflect your social skills. There are some things you do or say that are socially acceptable and some things you keep to yourself. The same is true on the internet where Netiquette is to be borne in mind. We don’t type in all caps because that is “shouting” and we don’t go round leaving multiple links to our websites everywhere because that’s “spamming”. Similarly, we should be courteous when pointing out errors or give criticism in a constructive and not destructive manner.
A comment like “That’s a nice eyeshadow colour on you. Perhaps you could blend the edges a little more next time so it doesn’t look so harsh” is much more constructive and courteous than one saying “OMFG! You call that eyeshadow? HAHAHA Did you just get punched in your eye?! What a disgrace you are!”
Unfortunately, the latter is much more prevalent perhaps because of the anonymity offered by the internet. It does reflect poorly on the person and if I come across that sort of comment, it goes into the bin because it isn’t constructive but destructive. I prefer to adopt a policy of if you won’t say it aloud to the person in question, then you shouldn’t type it in a comment or forum either.
Its easy to be nasty and cruel. We all have it in us to be so. I think somehow humans were coded that way. Realizing that and taking a positive step to be kind to others is not always easy. I have, more than once, hurt someone with what I have said or done. I’m not saying I’m the kindest person in the world either but with age and experience comes a bit of wisdom and yes, I may have made some mistakes in the past, but I try to learn from that. It is easier to destroy than build confidence and self-esteem in others. Again, sadists delight in the former and really, I have no time to deal with sadists 😛 In terms of the internet, if you come across something you dislike, close the page and go away or leave a constructive comment on what may be improved. Its easier to be cruel than to be kind but it is much more beautiful to be the latter.
I don’t think you’d ever find an ugly happy person. Happy people exude a kind of beauty that not even my beloved Meteorites pearls can achieve, and happiness is infectious. Unless they are hyper beings, which may irritate (yes I’m not quite an angel 😛 ) its hard not to be infected by happy people; so try to surround yourself with them and not with people who persist in dragging you down with their dark negative thoughts. That is infectious too! A smile goes a long way and no one was ever made poorer for offering a friendly smile.
I will stress again that I’m no angel but I am trying to adopt a more positive attitude towards life, and to do as I say here. Heaven knows, I enjoy a juicy gossip as much as anyone else, and I am fallible as everyone is. For my part, I try to keep that to a minimum and as I have said, focus on the positive aspects of people and life and help others where I can.
I think inner beauty is what true beauty is ultimately about. It endures past the fading of physical beauty. The rest is just gloss… and well, makeup 😉
What do you think defines beauty or inner beauty for you? Do share some thoughts, even as we head into the weekend 🙂
Photo #1 Paddy Fields in Kedah; Photo #2 Taiping Lake Gardens