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The ABC’s of Life — or More Stuff I’ve Learned

B: Beauty: The quality in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit.

In the eighties I held one of my most enjoyable corporate positions, Beauty and Public Relations Manager. In that role I wrote newspaper articles, participated in television and radio interviews, and spoke to various organizations. During a talk to a group of senior ladies, I recited writer Somerset Maugham’s quote calling beauty at sixty the soul’s own doing. Back then I interpreted the comment to mean external beauty. All these years later the words have a far deeper meaning.

As our parents entered their final years, their inner qualities made them beautiful. Among those qualities were my mom’s love of family and her desire to see the best in everyone. My dad’s infectious sense of humor and ability to make friends with every person he met. My mother-in-law’s commitment to never say anything bad about anyone and her amazing faith and strength despite years of poor health. My father-in-law’s can-do spirit and eagerness to share a lifetime of knowledge with others.

Perhaps Christmas is the perfect time to appreciate the beauty around us and ponder the inner beauty we reflect in our actions and interactions with family, friends, and strangers.

To paraphrase 1 Peter 3: 3-4 “Your beauty …. should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

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