Beautiful

bustlecom1I have never used a blog post to publicize a YouTube video, and with more than 7.5 million views, the video below scarcely needs my help.   That said, it’s impossible for too many people — especially Westerners — to see this short film by Chicago high school student Shea Glover.  And if you’ve already seen it, it won’t hurt to watch again.

Beneath the superficial gloss, a deep sense of personal unworthiness —  ugliness, even — insinuates Western society. Several well-known American Buddhists observed the Dalai Lama’s puzzlement at a conference 25 years ago when teacher Sharon Salzberg asked about  the self-hatred that afflicts so many Westerners.

“Looking startled, he turned to his translator and asked pointedly in Tibetan again and again for an explanation,”  Salzberg recalls. “Finally, looking back at me, the Dalai Lama tilted his head, his eyes narrowed in confusion. ‘Self-hatred?’ he repeated in English, as though trying out the words.  ‘But you have Buddha nature.  How could you think of yourself that way?’ ”

The concept was strange to him; there was no counterpart in Eastern culture.

“He simply didn’t understand,”  says teacher Jack Kornfield, who also was present. “Then, he asked not only whether we knew what she was talking about but also if we ourselves experienced this self-hatred. And almost all the Buddhist teachers there, representing an entire generation, said ‘yes’.”dailymail.co.uk

An entire generation — my parents’ — and certainly also my own. And now, as this five-minute film makes evident,  yet another, even while youth bestows on its subjects a physical beauty they cannot see.

It’s starkly revealing, and not just of the people it features. Observe your feelings as you watch; note what stirs in your own heart as each person’s face registers surprise. Surprise — to think that anyone could find them beautiful.  And then, a sweetly embarrassed delight, though one young woman is so sure she is being scammed — already so certain that no one could see her that way — that she can respond only with aggression.

I wonder not only at how others break our hearts, but at how we break our own, every day, with what we believe about ourselves.  And I marvel at how little effort it takes for one person to banish that ugliness  — if only for a moment — by mirroring to others the beauty to which they themselves are blind.

 

Advertisements

20 comments

  1. Wonderful, enlightening, head-shaking-sad and heart warming all in one — thanks for sharing this video and your thoughts.

    Like

    1. It is lovely, isn’t it? Thanks for sharing your appreciation.

      Like

  2. This was so inspiring and beautiful. I loved watching the responses of people being told they were beautiful. Thank you for sharing this, Sharon.

    Like

    1. You’re most welcome. I, too, was moved by watching how the subjects responded. Truly beautiful.

      Like

  3. Reblogged this on AwakeningWorldFoundation and commented:
    Need I say more?

    Like

    1. Thanks so much for passing it along!

      Like

  4. wow so beautiful

    Like

    1. Indeed. Thanks for commenting.

      Like

  5. Great video! ❤
    That reminds me this advertising: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bhAW5lf97Y

    Like

    1. It is lovely. And thank you for sharing this other video, too, which I watched and appreciated. The message comes through in any language. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! I think that is important to give compliments. Life becomes more beautiful!
        Everybody has a part of beauty.

        Greetings from Switzerland! 🙂

        Like

    2. Agreed! Genuine appreciation is so important, and there is some beauty to be found in each person.

      Best wishes back to you from the Colorado Rockies! Thank you for reading and sharing.

      Like

  6. Such things alway make me feel all warm inside with a little bit of sadness. Thinking of how little it take make someones day better and how seldom we do it. Thanks for the reminder Cate 🙂

    Like

    1. Well put, Ann. Thanks for sharing your response. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. In this country (USA), we are taught from a very early age what society considers beautiful and what society considers ugly.

    I was 39 before I believed I was beautiful inside and outside 🙂 because I fell in LOVE with a beautiful man 🙂

    Like

  8. Susan Lukwago · · Reply

    I echo what Mr. Robert Okaji said. Thank you Cate.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s an extraordinary piece. The changes in expression are priceless. How could one not feel emotional while watching this? Thanks, Cate.

    Like

    1. I feel fortunate that a good friend posted it on her Facebook page, Bob, and am glad to be able to share it myself in this venue. So: You’re most welcome.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This is beautiful 😀

    Like

    1. I’m glad you found it so. Thank you for reading (and watching)!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: