Thursday, February 28, 2008

Real Beauty

Kind words bring no blisters
on the tongue that speaks them,
nor on the ear
which hears them.
Kind words are never wasted.
Like scattered seeds,
they spring up in unexpected places.
Kindness is a conquering weapon.
Kindness should not be all on one side.
One good turn must have another as its return,
or it will not be fair.

He who expects kindness should show kindness.

- Charles H. Spurgeon

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Bulldozers or Building Blocks?

We are a people who live and thrive on cutting people down. Some of us are plain and simply cruel and mean, we only feel good when we ruin the self –esteem of others. We tear each other apart about all our insecurities. "Have you seen how much weight she's gained?" "I can't believe she's wearing that skirt. I guess she doesn't care if people see her legs." "You know, you could have that removed."

We have created a society where we thrive on pointing out the flaws of others and relish in the fact that he/she is down and out. Take Brittney Spears, a prime example, how many people are really interested in helping this girl who obviously needs help? Weekly gossip magazines, gossip blogs and news channels make more money when Brittney is in the headlines. Brittney sells! It sickens me to know that there are online sites and places where you can go to guess and place money on when you think Brittney is going to have a complete breakdown and when she is going to commit suicide.

Is this the people we have become? We are hungry for all the latest ‘buzz” but more so we want to know when someone messes up. How often do we see or hear about when someone in Hollywood does some good? All those paparazzi swarming Hollywood, its only because so many people live for reading gossip. If ‘we’ did not want or crave this sort of info there would not be that many of the paparazzi out there. All these daily shows that keep us ‘updated’ on what is going on in Hollywood etc, what she is wearing, how she looked in this outfit or how bad she looked in that one, if no one was watching them they would not be on the airwaves.

Then there is this “shame” particularly about our bodies and our lifestyles if we do not perfectly fit the mould of what e should look like or have in order to be happy. Why would we do this? Why all the competition? What are we really competing for? What is the prize? Are we still on the children’s playground competing for popularity? Some people need to ruin someone else’s self-esteem in order to feel good about themselves.

What about people who congratulate and compliment you and you know its done with an undertone of “really, you achieved that?” or “why you and not me”. Why is it so hard to be genuinely nice and kind to each other? Why is it hard to be nice and kind to ourselves? Isn’t there enough pain and suffering in the world without us adding to it? Why cant we build each other up instead of cutting each other down?

Being nice begins with me, it begins with you. I’m not saying that its easy to be nice to everyone, some people choose to be cruel and mean to themselves and to others but why is it so hard to be nice and kind? I don’t like to live in the past but where have the good ole days of where people cared for each other, lived like brothers, respecting one another? Sure things were tough, people did not have as much yet they looked out for each other, they were kind, pleasant and respectful.

Maybe we have lost sight of the things that are really important and need to revisit the good ole days to see where have gone off course. Maybe we spend too much time worrying and whining about what others think about us and how we don’t fit into the perfect mould and will do just about anything including cut those around us down to fit into the mould.

The choice is ours, are we going to be building blocks or are we going to be bulldozers? I choose to be a building block not only to others but also to myself. I’m going to be nice, kind, generous and help to build those round me up. No matter how thin, or blond, or accomplished someone might be, everyone needs someone to be nice to them, someone to encourage them, someone to show compassion to them. Let us be the one who builds others up and soon we will see that by building others up, we are in fact building ourselves up too.