March 8th marks International Women’s Day. The theme this year is Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures.
A friend related a story to me recently that I wanted to share with you. I think it speaks volumes for the wisdom that we acquire as we age.
When she was about 11 or 12 years old, she was invited to a slumber party with ten other girls. Something happened that night that has stayed with her ever since.
As with most pre-teens, they were fascinated with make-up. Thier hostess had gathered a cornucopia of foundation, blushes, mascara and lipsticks for us to experiment with. One of the guests was the daughter of an Episcopalian minister. When asked why she didn’t join in the fun, she replied, “I don’t need make-up. God made me beautiful.” Oh, how they howled with indignation at her conceit (and my friend tells me that it didn’t help matters any that she really was naturally beautiful).
Her words, though, have stuck with my friend through the years and as she has gained wisdom, she has come to appreciate just how right the other girl was. People respond to her not because she’s beautiful, but because she is genuine. She smiles with her eyes, as well as with her mouth. She asks you how you’re doing and when you reply, she really listens to your answer. If you open your arms for a hug, she will step right in and hold you for as long as you want.
You see, beauty is not in the eye of the beholder; beauty comes from deep within each of us. Being open and accepting of others, showing interest in their stories, and giving just tiny pieces of yourself (a smile, a nod of acknowledgment, a pat on the back) make you beautiful!