Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.

~ Dalai Lama ~

Do You Know What’s Really Ugly?

February 19th, 2012 ~ Est. reading time: 1 min, 22 secs

You can live with an ugly look. But an ugly spirit?

What’s really ugly is not so much the thing you see that might offend the eye. It’s the way people treat each other in damaging ways with cruelty, coldness, and selfishness.

These are more gross and far reaching than an ugly face or object could possibly be. Cruelty, for instance, has a taint to it that’s hard to erase. Like the time you were deliberately publicly humiliated. It’s hard to forget.

Cruelty comes in countless ways, reflecting an ugliness that blights relationships, communities, and even countries. Avoid its poison, declare it, and refuse to apply it. Because the stain of cruelty can mark you for life.

By contrast, indifferent coldness tries to hide its ugliness with superiority. There’s no blood on the carpet, but an iciness that excludes by denying your value. People on a power trip deliver this kind of “ugly.” Lacking kindness and conscience, rejecting you gratifies them.

Then there’s the ugliness of selfishness. Glamorized by advertising and the “me first” mindset, it’s an all too shabby sight. By blocking everyone from relating in an honest way, self-centeredness bricks us into a world full of stuff but not much love.

These three forms of “ugly” are so familiar we can easily overlook them. But when they are happening in your family, friendships, or work, you can be certain they’re causing grief.

So what’s to be done? The answer is to do something beautiful yourself. Refuse the ugly options. See bad plans that hurt and isolate for what they are, and carve a new path of encouragement instead. Make your actions affirming, fostering better feelings with the kindness you bring.

Cynical people will dismiss this, but I believe life gets better when we apply qualities of character. Regardless of your limitations, your efforts are never ugly when you act with compassion.


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