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What makes a person beautiful:nurturing beauty's true essence
By Michelle Liew Tsui-LIn
Beautiful by Christina Aguilera
“Sometimes people are beautiful. Not in looks.Not in what they say. Just in what they are.” ― Markus Zusak, I am the Messenger
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Beauty is only skin deep. We know of a wealth of cliches on beauty. We have been told countless times and in endless ways about looking at the beauty underneath the surface package.
To look at things from a realistic perspective, it can be difficult to look at what makes a person truly beautiful, because we are but human and looking at a pleasurable thing at the surface level is what pleases our hearts.
Once in a while, we do need a little reminding about the essence of true beauty. I am not addressing the issue of beauty being at the surface level, because it has all been said before. Instead, we look at what constitutes beauty, for it means many different things to all of us.
What is the essence of true beauty?
Beauty is indeed different for everyone but there are some commonalities that form its true essence. Certainly, these elements should be a part of our perspective of beauty.
There is nothing more beautiful than observing true passion at work. True passion for life, work and the little things in life gives a certain aura that makes a person truly attractive.
Passion is truly the key. I am not a cook, and will never claim to be. But watching my grandmother at work preparing the Peranakan delicacies she is famous for and the love she has for every ingredient is truly beautiful motivation for me to use the kitchen more often to conjure up a few scrumptious pleasures of my own.
Listening to my father and the passion that he has for the guitar was the beauty that propelled my love for music and being a music teacher, which still holds true to this day.
Which of these do you value most as beauty in a person?
Sincerity is one of the things that contributes to the essence of true beauty. We all admire a person who truly walks his talk.
I once worked under a teacher who served as the Head of Department for English Department at a school I was teaching Literature at. This Head was not one to just delegate work and expound the philosophy of teaching - she truly got down to the nitty gritty and worked together with the rest of the staff of the English Department. She did not just say that remedial lessons should be done, but put in the extra hours needed to do them herself.
The thing that made this lady truly beautiful was that she listened with a non-judgemental, open ear whenever the teaching staff in her department had any problems with students. The sincerity was certainly refreshing and wonderfully admirable.
The ability to go beyond
When a person can go beyond in the spirit of truth and with a sincere heart, he really radiates beauty beyond belief. The vital words would be “sincere heart”, without any unhealthy intrinsic motivations.
Going the extra mile without expectations that would otherwise discourage any other positive giving truly makes a person beautiful. A wonderful model of this would be my own mother-in-law, who is willing to make any sacrifice of time and effort for her children, a beautiful rarity sadly quite difficult to witness in this day and age. She does not consider returns for the time and effort she spends on cooking or looking after my twin nieces and only requires that they be truly positive in mind and spirit.
What makes you beautiful One Direction
The ability to empathize
A person who can put him or herself in the shoes of another and not just say “I feel sorry for you” is one who radiates true beauty. The ability to know what it is like for another person or to at least have the willingness to understand another person’s situation is beauty that makes a true difference in one’s life and the lives of others. Here is more on what empathy is.
Clarity of purpose
I would argue that a person who really knows and understands what he is doing and what the purpose of his being is is enchanting. We all admire someone with clear vision and direction.
It is not always easy to know where one is headed for, but those do have a purpose,unwavering determination and decisiveness that models for others and truly strikes a chord.
A person who illustrates such clarity of purpose is a friend of mine, Elizabeth Rutten Ng, who took the road less traveled to become a dance therapist specializing in dance and embodied movement therapy that contributes to inner healing. So determined was she that she overcame numerous odds - including moving to another country, learning a completely new language and getting a degree - to become a strong advocate for authentic movement being able to facilitate emotional healing.
What makes this lady outstandingly beautiful is her sincere zest for the craft and its healing that she strongly believes in. Her approach to promoting the healing gift of dance therapy is a no holds barred one. SHe comes back regularly to Singapore to conduct workshops that show how embodied movement works to shape and promote a better, holistic self. You can find out more about the work she does on embodied movement and dance here.
Beautiful is the person who can be honest with others and most crucially, with himself. We respect those who tell us sincere truths with no hidden agenda. We laud those who can touch base with themselves.
My husband has the gravitas and honesty that has made him a beautiful companion in our almost twelve years of marriage. His inner beauty lies in his ability to tell honest truths tactfully, a trait that is not easy to emulate. Truly beautiful is a person who manages to tell the truth and tell it well.
A zest for life
What better beauty to behold than someone who has a true vigour and love for life! Such a person is able to inspire and motivate others to take solid steps forward to achieve their goals.
One such person was my grandfather. A veteran tennis coach, his love for the game spurred many on to learn the sport from him. Even as he was riddled with cancer, his zest for living enabled him to fight it for twenty three years, no mean feat for a man in his eighties. He has taught us that the will to live can help one overcome many odds, a mantra I live by to this day.
The Belladonna Lily and the Horseman's Star
The Belladonna Lily
The Amaryllis Belladonna or the Belladonna Lily is a flower that has been used since ancient times to symbolize beauty, owing to its showy and colorful nature. The fact is not surprising, since the word Amaryllis comes from the Greek word to “sparkle”.
The Haiku form
A haiku, a short Japanese poem written in 17 syllables, the first line having 5, the second 7 and the third 5. Haiku are distinct because of their focus on nature, though modern poets have broached other subjects with haiku. An outstanding trait of Haiku is its juxtaposition of images and the use of them to create meaning. For more on Haiku, please read this informative article by Daisy Mariposa.
Do find a few haiga (haiku with imagery) haiku placed as photographs in this article. I hope you enjoy them!
To me, these elements constitute true beauty. Here, I would like to thank those who answered the question “What constitutes true beauty?” Do take the time to visit each of these wonderful authors.
Original Work by Michelle Liew Tsui-Lin
All rights reserved
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