Everything and the Beholder

Why are most people so afraid of being nice, yet don’t hesitate to point out your flaws? I have met so many people over the last few years, and I can definitely say that they share one thing in common: they find flaws and magnify them. They attempt to find cracks and gaps. And that is the easiest thing to do when you, yourself, are extremely insecure. I have been called ugly, I have been called incompetent, stupid; I have been called horrible names in the past. Looking back, I can confidently say that the person who called me ugly was in fact in desperate need of plastic surgery (and I say this most objectively), the person who called me incompetent has mental health issues, the person who called me stupid was constantly called names by her mother, and so on.

There is an Arabic saying  that asserts that you only see people the way you see yourself –it is not similar to the saying ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.’ Rather, it states that ‘everything’ is in the eye of the beholder. Beauty, ugliness, competence, lies, games, kindness, and of course, the ability to give and receive love. In other words, people see things and others the way they perceive themselves. There’s always a lot of projecting going on.

I went through years believing that people were essentially created flawed, and as such, constantly looking for flaws in others. This would affirm some self-worth for them. But I might be changing my perspective. Perhaps people are mostly flawed, and they are capable of ‘naturally’ finding flaws in others. That’s the default setting. What’s really inspiring is when you come across people who go against that setting –people who see flaws as natural, as not worth magnifying, and who attempt to highlight the things we generally forget about ourselves: how smart you are, how beautiful (on the inside and on the outside), how you are in fact more than just alright. Those people are not afraid to call out your good qualities, they are not afraid of saying it as it is. Their self-worth is not based on disturbing and disrupting yours, as cliché as that sounds. They are truly capable of extending their radiance, without fearing that they might shine less when they do.

So I guess I can’t be a pessimist after all, if I can now sort of say: there’s still hope in genuine goodness of the soul.