Aren’t you glad you’re not a teenager anymore?
The older I get the happier I am to have attained that age. Maybe that’s because I’m less in love and much kinder with myself. There is an old saying, “women spend the first 18 years of their lives trying to look older and the rest of their lives trying to look younger”. Unfortunately to a great degree this is true! Guys don’t you laugh! You spend your life trying to prove your masculinity by being the winner or the tough guy or the boss. Admit it we are always trying to be acceptable so as we can be recognised as one of the “in” group, one of “us” not “them”. It takes time for the teenager inside to grow up.
Does it really matter?
Seriously, what difference does it make if you are the best-looking person you know? One day that won’t be true even if it is true now. What difference will it make? What difference does it make if you are the boss or the tough guy? One day that won’t be true either. Being something or someone for the sake of acceptance makes no sense because it can only ever be temporary. Everyone, at some stage in their lives needs to stop and asks the question what is this all about? What is the purpose or meaning of life. We make ourselves busy everyday doing what we determine to be important. We get up, put on the glad rags, make-up and/or do what we must do to make ourselves acceptable to the world. Then we dive out the door to make our mark on the world.
Western capitalist societies pay homage to the wealthy and beautiful, this is not a new phenomenon. It has been so from biblical times Proverbs 14.20 “The poor are shunned even by their neighbours, but the rich have many friends”. However verse 21 goes on “He who despises his neighbour sins, but blessed is he who is kind to the needy.” So we’ve known or ought to have known for a very long time, and yet we still buy into the delusion.
The Essence of Beauty
My wife is a very beautiful woman. What makes her beautiful is not what is on view for any fool to see but what you only find out when you know her. Last night, I overheard her talking to a friend about teenage children when she said, “I’m very clear what matters as a person is not what you look like or who likes you but how much love and kindness you can give”. That’s what makes her beautiful. How much Love and Kindness can you give? What a great question.
What happens when we make this our measure of success. Will we get rich? Probably not! Will we be happy? Probably!
It is not hard to love someone who makes it their goal in life to give out as much love and kindness as they can. Being loved by those you care about is the most life sustaining gift there is (Harvard Longitudinal Study). As a society, we appear to have lost our way and the example we are setting for younger generations is not one we can be proud of. Yes, I know we all have to pay our bills, for most of us that means heading off to work and we all want to look good. (Heaven forbid I should walk out the door straight out of bed, ask my neighbours, it’s ugly!) If we make being kind and loving the first priority for our children we can go a long way to making this world a much better place.
Pollyanna and the Cynics
I know the cynics amongst you are saying “Pollyanna” AND the truth is you cannot defeat hate with hate. You can only defeat hate with love built on understanding and forgiveness. You cannot be happy when all you have is “things” even if you are stunningly beautiful or overwhelmingly rich. Beauty and wealth are their own curse they make it that much harder to know who loves you for who you really are and who is simply hanging around for what they can get from you. If you are kind and loving to your worst enemy they probably won’t like you anymore for it. They may even hate on you some more. What will happen is the rest of the world will see them for who and what they are and that will make a difference to the support and love you receive.
Why don’t we act out of Love and Kindness? One word FEAR! Fear of being taken advantage of, fear of missing out, fear of the unknown. The ability to act out of love and kindness is a sure sign of a real grown up. Someone who has the courage to put others before themselves, they are not afraid of missing out, generally it just doesn’t matter to them if they do. They live, really live and people love them right back. And the facts are they tend to live longer. Want to know more about overcoming your fears? Just click on the link below and start your journey with our mini master class in Living Consciously.