From weight and height to society-dictated imperfections that have women running to the plastic surgeon, a lot of emphasis is put on how we look. But outer beauty is truly only skin deep and there are things you should value far more in yourself than your appearance.
To be able to empathize is an extraordinary human trait. While most people can empathize to a degree (unless they’re psychopaths or sociopaths), how deeply one can emphasize says so much about a person. It’s definitely a far more valuable trait than looks.
Passionate people go far in life because they live and breathe whatever they’re passionate about and don’t stop until they’ve achieved the highest rank of it. It doesn’t matter what you love, as long as you have a passion for something and make it a part of your daily life.
What good is a pretty face without intelligence and intellect? Just another pretty face. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, but to be able to understand, comprehend, and be cognizant of things and places and words and art and music and to question what some people never dare to question speaks volumes as to the type of person you are not just today, but also the person you will continue to be in the future.
How far you’ve come
Even if you’ve yet to succeed in all the ways you imagined you would at this point in your life, you still have to look back and be pretty damn impressed about how far you’ve come. We all have to overcome our own versions of adversity and deal with our own personal roadblocks, but to get on the other side and to have evolved to where you are today is something worth celebrating.
Your ability to love
It doesn’t matter how often your heart has been trampled on—the fact that you’re capable of loving is beautiful. What’s even more beautiful is if that love resulted in a broken heart more times than you would have liked because it means you took a risk. When we stop taking a risk on love, a part of us dies.
The way you treat strangers
Ultimately, no one is under any obligation to be kind to anyone. If we want, we can live our lives not giving a damn about anyone but ourselves and that’s fine—some people do live that way. How you treat strangers says a lot about you and it’s those of us who treat people we don’t even know with warmth and kindness who are the most valuable of our species.
Having convictions and standing by them isn’t just about having a moral compass but fighting for what’s right and condemning what’s wrong. It means speaking out when you see oppression and ignorance and rectifying injustices. To have conviction is to give a damn—and giving a damn, especially at this moment in the world, is essential.
Your five senses
To taste great food, to feel the softness of a puppy, to hear Mozart, to see Van Gogh, and to smell the oncoming rain—I mean, come on! Those totally trump any appearance.
We’re all shaped by the experiences we’ve had in our lives. It doesn’t matter if those experiences were positive or negative, they made us who we are and we should value them. Especially the ones that taught us lessons and from which we were forced to grow and evolve.
The people you surround yourself with
It means nothing to be completely delicious in the looks department if you don’t have family and friends who love and care about you. No woman is an island and to be adrift in the world without a support network would be a heartbreaking state of affairs. Like your experiences, the people that you allow into your life to set up shop and be close to you play a major roll in who you are and what you will become.
Your ability to be moved
Moved to tears, moved to laughter, moved to the brink of madness—to be moved, to be affected, to feel so deeply is something that surpasses any person’s exterior. Can you imagine a life without feeling? I don’t think anyone would want that.
It makes no difference if you’re dedicated to reading all of Proust’s works in French, finishing your first novel, or trying pizza in every country in the world. Just the fact that you’re dedicated to something, that something has inspired you to give it your all, is painfully valuable.
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