Have you ever caught yourself being prejudiced? Seeing a person and totally judging their book by their cover?
Yesterday was that day for me.
I was at the health club and saw three young guys. It was just a nano-blip in my brain, but the words I was saying in my head were not “what fine, upstanding young men” – no, I labeled these guys as Hooligans (Oh, great! I sound like my granny).
Later I found myself with them in the pool. With them was another young man (maybe a friend or brother) who was severely medically fragile. These guys? The Hooligans?
Well, they were angelic and awesome.
I felt real shame. The young men that I had woefully and wrongly prejudged were BEAUTIFUL. They played, encouraged, and challenged this special-needs kiddo.
Beauty = Those Kids playing together – building each other up.
We strive for beauty in so many ways don’t we? And here it was, under the guise of my prejudged neighbors.
What is beauty for you? That moment in your day that makes you catch your breath, breathe a sigh of relief that there is still hope for humanity?
Beauty for me is two people walking hand in hand – that longing to touch. Watching a grown up kneel to speak to a child. Letting a stranger at the grocery store cut in line when they have only one or two items. My kids laughing together. Someone singing loud in church even though they can’t keep the tune. Bless them.
Beauty is neighbors taking care of each other. And beauty is me, putting myself on my own to-do list.
Itʼs true, you know. When you take care of yourself, real care, you bless the universe (which is really big) in ways only you can – not one other human being on this entire globe can do what you do!
Mary Anne Radmacher reminds us that “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says ‘I’ll try again tomorrow’.” These words keep whirling through my head as I think about the boys in the health club and I’ve decided that yes, forgiveness takes courage. And forgiveness is also beauty.
Maybe you can relate.
This New York artist gives us a stunning perspective on prejudging our fellow strangers. What might we discover by taking another look?