We concern ourselves so often with how we look, with the hair on our bodies, with the colour of our skin, with the clothes we adorn ourselves with. We concern ourselves so often with altering the natural state of our body, particularly as women, but as men too… we concern ourselves so often with it that we spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars every year to look the way the media tells us we should look.
But beauty means little… it’s subjective and forever changing, the media push an ideal that we can’t create no matter how hard we try. No matter how much we spend. No matter how much we change or how much we starve ourselves or how many terrible things we say to ourselves in the mirror.
The only beauty that really matters is inside us. Our compassion. Our kindness.
Fundamentalism is often a term that is reserved for religious zealots, but I see different kinds of fundamentalism all around us all the time. Online I see it on a daily basis. The basic definition of fundamentalism is the strict adherence to a set of principals (and the unwritten rule is that you believe that anyone who believes something else is wrong). I see it all the time at the moment when it comes to parenting and to diets and eating – where people are beating each other down because they made a different decision… because they don’t prescribe to the same diet, or the same parenting style, or the same medical choices for their families We are all capable of becoming fundamentalists… especially if we find we get addicted to other people’s wrongness… the minute we get caught up in judging other people for their wrong decisions, we start teetering on the edge of behaving in a fundamentalist manner.
We live in a world that is obsessed with being perfect. Being the perfect woman. The perfect mother. The most successful. The richest. The most famous. The best at everything we do. But as long as we find ourselves pushing for success and perfection we can never truly understand what it is to have true compassion or what it is to have unconditional love and friendship… because if we are to ‘win’ then surely someone else is to lose. . We are sure to forget that it is our behaviour that defines us… not what we own, not how we look, not how we are recognised.
We spend so much time and money and energy on how we look, but so little on how we behave. We spend so much energy beating up ourselves (and each other) for not being perfect, that we forget what matters most… that we forget that we are all in this together.
Kindness is the kind of beauty that lasts, well into old age and beyond. It’s the kind of beauty that builds communities and feeds the souls of others. It’s the kind of beauty that raises compassionate, gentle and passionate leaders for our future.
I’d argue that it’s the only beauty that matters.
The revolution starts with us.