I had to share this wonderful quote by Roald Dahl that I read in this month’s issue of Vogue:
“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and sticky-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
Carry this thought with you like a charm and always feel your own beauty within. Inner beauty never goes unnoticed. Call it a glow, an aura, whatever you like – it emanates something enchanting and contagious that physical beauty can’t rival. I always remember a girl I went to school with who captivated me simply with her serenity and sweetness – she was quiet and shy, and probably thought not many people noticed her, but her loveliness made a huge impression on me. There’s no faking genuine goodness – people with pureness of heart make the world a happier place by spreading that warmth to those around them.
Another enduring impression, for entirely the opposite reason, is the worst piece of advice I was ever given: after an encounter that left me feeling a little low, someone said to me, “The problem is you’re too nice. If you want to get on in life, you need to stop being so nice.” That sentiment was enough to jolt me out of my malaise – “stop being nice”? It’s so easy to get cynical and jaded in a world that encourages us to get ahead, and even in that moment I had no intention of being a part of that cycle. As far as I’m concerned, there aren’t enough ‘nice’ people in the world; I hold those precious few very close to me because they make me want to be a better person.
One of my own defining traits is a child-like perspective of life that I’ve retained – my enjoyment of simple pleasures, my sense of humor, my sense of right and wrong, my discernment of character. Though not always practical, my inner child is an aspect of my character that I’ve been consciously protective of in my adulthood because it affords me a simplicity of outlook of which we can be so easily robbed. It doesn’t necessarily make me a better person, but it does make me happy when my enthusiasm rubs off on others – it makes me feel like I’ve spread a little light. If you also feel like you have a light inside you, don’t hide it under a bushel – instead, cherish it, nourish it, and share it, just like Roald said. Take it from me: if it’s good enough for the kids, it’s good enough for us grown-ups.