This morning, I woke up to news about the bombings at the Boston marathon a few hours before. I did think about life in general for a while, like how short a period we all spend on this earth but yet take so many things for granted. I wouldn’t say I was shocked, because – maybe – with the prevalence of violence nowadays, an explosion is simply just another bomb gone off. People killed, people hurt. Families separated, relationships crumbled. Anger gets roused, the fire gets fed.
A short while later, just as I was leaving my home to go to work, yet another thing happened to me. Just as I was waiting at the lift lobby for the elevator to come pick me at the eleventh storey of my apartment building, and just as the elevator was rising up, I heard a loud crash, followed by an alarm sounding off. The elevator had fallen from the fifth or sixth storey right down to the shaft beneath the first storey of the building. I could have been in that elevator had I left the house a few minutes earlier. More importantly, I had just cheated death.
That realisation hit me minutes later, sending shock waves through my veins. If I were indeed in that little unfortunate box, would beauty have mattered? If I were one of the spectators at the Boston marathon, would looking good have mattered? If I were one of those who had to get my limbs amputated, or who lost a son in the blast, would I still care about acne or uneven brows?
Granted, this hadn’t been the first time I came close to the idea of no longer being in this world. And every time it happens, it never fails to put things into perspective. If I had perished, there would be no more daughter to care for her parents, no more eldest sister to care for her younger siblings, no more granddaughter to care for her grandparents. There would be one less teacher to guide her students, one less friend to the several friends who need a hearing ear and a helping hand, one less person to make the world a happier place to live in (maybe more on my life philosophy at a later time). If I had perished, beauty would not matter. Nobody would care about the way I looked – and maybe about the way they looked – but people would remember the way I made them feel when I was alive.
That’s it. Don’t take beauty too seriously. In fact, don’t take life too seriously either. You never know when it will be taken away from you (because you don’t have control over it) and you definitely don’t want to regret having spent most of your life fretting over your overly wide jaws, clogged pores and sun protection when you could be doing something else more substantial, like buying a kid an ice cream at the beach and making his day. After all, you don’t need a pretty face to make a difference in the world.
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Image credits: DLRP Today