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"Each of us must come to care about everyone else's children. We must recognize that the well being of our own children is intimately linked to the well being of all other people's children. After all, when one of our children needs life-saving surgery, someone else's child will perform it. When one of our children is harmed by violence, someone else's child will commit it. The good life for our own children can be secured only if it is also secured for all other people's children. But to work for the well being of all children is not just a practical matter-- it is also right!" - Lilian G. Katz, Phd.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

DailyOM - Embracing Your Physical Individuality

Distinctive Beauty
Embracing Your Physical Individuality

The mirror can be a friend and the mirror can be a foe. Few people are willing to accept that their physical individuality is something amazing rather than something to be ashamed of. But like the individual beauty of a single flower placed in a bouquet, each of us, no matter what we look like, contributes to the beauty of humanity and enhances the world.

Though society often emphasizes physical conformity, regardless of what your height or weight may be, you have legs that carry you, arms that hug, lips with which to kiss, and eyes that express a range of emotions. Your body is your perfect home and the ultimate expression of your inner beauty, and is naturally and individual as your personality. You may see your body as a collection of flaws, but more often than not, it is the so-called flaw that provides the counterpoint that creates a vision of beauty. The old adage is true: If we all looked alike, then much of the appeal of the visual world would be lost. For a variety of reasons, mainstream culture asks us to view our physical selves negatively and with a strict eye toward improvement. But in confronting assumptions about our bodies as well as how those assumptions were shaped over time, it becomes possible to accept that true beauty is more than a shape, a size, a color, or a standard. It is when we stop comparing ourselves to others that we can recognize the true miracle which is the beauty of each and every human body as a whole, without reverting to any erroneous ideal.

The briefest glance through a crowd reveals a wondrous variety of real people. William Shakespeare wrote: “The boughs of no two trees ever have the same arrangement. Nature always produces individuals.” The physical presence of each person on earth fills a unique void and adds a complexity that would be lacking were we all copies spilled from a single mold. With this in mind, take another look in the mirror and make the effort to love what you see.