Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Outward Appearance

A friend of mine that I used to work with in the church found out she had breast cancer. I think it's been a year or so now, and she seems to be doing well, although she did have a mastectomy. I haven't had a chance to talk to her since she got sick, since she lives in a different town. The interesting thing is that her father died quite young because of heart problems. She missed having him in her life. She decided that she was going to do all she could to stay healthy for her children. For as long as I've known her, she has exercised every day. I'm not talking about my kind of exercise where I walk for 45 minutes, then plop on the couch. I'm talking about hard aerobics. She was driven to keep herself healthy, but then breast cancer ironically threw her a curve ball.

I saw her last night at a church meeting, but still didn't get the chance to talk to her. We are having our stake conference, and the chapel and overflow were full of people. But I did see her come in the room and she looked so amazing, it was incredible. It appears that she has had to go through chemo, and that she lost her hair. But now it has grown back, although it is quite short. But to me, her hairstyle looked very chic, very high fashion. It made me want to go out and cut all my hair off. :)

This week while I wasn't feeling well I watched a lot of television as I lay in bed, and one of the movies I watched was Gandhi. One of my favorite parts of the movie is when he told the people to stop relying on the textile industries of England, and to make their own textiles. He encouraged them to spin and make their own handmade cloth. He admitted that it might not be as fine of cloth as what they could buy from England, but he told the people to wear the works of their own hands, and to wear it with dignity.

As I saw my friend with her short hair, I thought about what Gandhi said. I thought about how it doesn't really matter how we look, as long as we act with dignity. Gandhi spent his life wearing a loin cloth, and carrying a handmade shawl. He met with heads of state, and the greatest of military leaders, but never shrank because of his appearance. I think the same goes for weight. I have known many very overweight people in my life. Some of them wore their weight well, and others let their weight wear them. I realized that those who held their head high with dignity were those who I didn't think of as "fat". When I think of them, I don't think of their size, I think of their personality. There is a blog I have started reading of a blogger in Provo who, with her husband, survived a plane crash. Most of her face is scarred because of the accident. But when I see the pictures that she posts, I see a beautiful woman. She carries herself with dignity.

I was thinking about this scripture in the Old Testament: "7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7 I wonder if this scripture could be interpreted: "for WE look on our own outward appearance". I know that many people do focus on the outward appearance. But I think what is important is that we look at our own heart, as the Lord does, and not focus on our outward appearance. Then if we act with dignity, others will be able to overlook our outward flaws.


Valorosa said...

It's so true ...
The spirit of a person is so much more powerful than there appearance.
I was thinking of people like Ghandi when I wrote my last blog post.
The spirit of love and power and a sound mind.

emily said...

I am moved, by the beautiful breast cancer lady, sweet story.
Inner beauty is much more important than what your outward appearance.I always believe that.

Nene said...

I have some friends who spend a Lot of time on their appearance. They go to a gym, they have their hair dyed and styled, they have pedicures, manicures, have various facial hair removed - all on a regular basis. They are constantly dieting. One of these friends told me that she goes through her closet on a regular basis to throw stuff out. She told me she even throws out stuff that she really likes, but she knows she has to throw it out because it is not in style. (?) I like what you said about how some overweight people wear their weight well and some let their weight wear them. I think it's important to be healthy, but I think this world places far too much emphasis on appearance. I think it's far more important to be at peace with who you are, or rather maybe who you want to be. When I started growing my hair out, my friend told me she didn't like long hair. I didn't say anything at the time, but I thought,"You may not like long hair, but this is who I want to be right now." :0)

Ramana Rajgopaul said...

The most difficult thing to find now a days is a person comfortable with himself or herself. Be it weight, or occupation or whatever, everyone seems to be wanting to be someone else. The dignity that you talk about comes when one accepts one's lot and gets on with life. I try to and by and large succeed.

Inklings said...

This is so true. I feel sorry for people who judge themselves and others on looks. For one thing, they miss out on some wonderful people that way. For another thing, we all lose our looks as we age. You don't see old women model or on covers of fashion magazines. You don't see pin-up posters of old people. They never vote an old person as the most beautiful man or woman in the world. So if you only judge on looks, you have a very sad day coming.
Internal beauty is the best. Of course, it would sure be nice to have both. :0)