What do you deem beautiful? Is it the way someone looks? Is it the animals that we interact with? Or is it nature? Whatever your version of beauty, there is always something that makes us want to strive for something greater. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder but it is not something that can be explained as to why we perceive something or someone to be beautiful.

I used to follow the celebrity news a lot. It wasn’t because I wanted to be like them. It was because it fascinated me why so many people thought these men and women were so wonderful. After all, they are just like the rest of us. The go to bed, they get dressed, they eat, and they have jobs to do. It’s just their jobs are more in the limelight. They have built a life out of being in the public. I think it’s great for them if that’s what makes them happy. My folks always used to say that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Many of them have to deal with the constant hounding of the paparazzi. It’s a trade-off of sorts. They live to impress.

Isn’t that what many of us are doing? We are striving to keep impressing our bosses and clientele so that we continue to work. We are changing up our routines daily and perfecting our skills so that we stand out from the crowd. I think that’s one of the reasons that photography interests me. For one thing, we can now digitally remove things in images that we don’t like. We can perfect a picture without having to re-take it and we can also change the backgrounds into areas that we were nowhere near. All for the simple reason of making something appear to have more beauty than it may possess.

Men and women both undergo plastic surgery for various reasons. Some of which, include vanity. To be fair, there is truth in the fact that when we appear to look better, we feel better about ourselves. Yet, many folks take those surgeries to the extreme. I’ve seen several cases where the cosmetic surgery did more damage than it corrected. It was because there had been too much surgery already done or there were other complications. If you should decide to get cosmetic surgery, do the research and have the difficult conversations with your doctor to see what is best for you.

To me, beauty is more than what’s on the outside. It’s how we treat each other. It’s the way that we make sure that our communities have what they need during crisis time and also without the crisis. When I look at churches, hospitals, school systems, and employers, I see a different kind of beauty that has surfaced. It’s one of genuine concern, attention, kindness, and contribution. As a society, we are starting to comprehend that we are in this together and we will come out of this stronger, more informed, and conditioned to survive. More than that, we are all a part of the beauty of the earth. Our skills and gifts help create a beauty to the outside that continues to grow in not just beauty but appreciation.

I wish I had the skills to paint or draw. I’m lucky if I can get a stick figure right but I appreciate how others can create masterpieces. Another thing that makes me appreciate the beauty in people is when I know someone has consistently failed at something and they keep trying until they finally succeed. That is a beautiful moment. All the failures are not erased but the beauty and joy of seeing someone who has struggled and can finally say that they succeeded are an incredible testimony to the spirit that dwells inside of us.

As a kid I read a lot. I still do. One of my favorite types of books are the mystery books. I admit that I’m a sucker for crime fighting books. I think the reason is because there is a beauty in being able to figure out who did a crime. Sometimes it’s just for the pure thrill of keeping my mind sharp. I’ve always been into puzzles. Word problems in school always confused me but jigsaw puzzles always made sense. They were beautiful to me. I loved figuring out where each piece went and when the puzzle was completed, I had a beautiful picture to enjoy.

Stories are often beautiful. There’s bad stories out there but some folks may think that the bad ones are beautiful too. I guess it really depends on what you enjoy. Stories that touch the hearts, minds, and souls of folks in a positive way are beautiful to me. I guess I enjoy the happy endings better than I do the ones where there is no happiness involved. I may be a sucker for those kinds of books but there’s so many things in this world that don’t contain beauty to me, that inspiration itself, can feel beautiful.

No matter what you may think or feel has beauty, look around you. What are the things in this world that stand out to you? What behaviors are you seeing that are leaving a mark on your soul? Is it the pets that you have that are beautiful? Or is it the love that you feel? Is it a combination of things? For me, it’s all of the above. No matter what this pandemic has done, it’s allowed me to experience true beauty. I hope and pray that all of you can experience the beauty of life. Let yourselves find the beauty all around you. Use the beauty to inspire you to try things you wouldn’t have tried otherwise. Reach out to others to see what you can do to help during these trying times. For that act, is also beauty. Kindness has no limitations as to what true beauty is.

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