Authenticity...Your Secret Weapon
by Sandra Crawford Williamson
I love roses, not only because they are beautiful to look at, but mostly because of their scent. It is true that to truly enjoy the scent of a rose, you have to stop and breathe in the sweet aroma they provide.
Let me also say that I do not enjoy artificial rose scented products...candles, etc. They are too sweet...they lack subtlety, grace, balance, and truth because the scent is in fact artificial, fake.
There is a Danish proverb that says, Beauty without virtue is like a rose without scent, meaning that it’s possible that something can be beautiful and yet be devoid of value. The value or the essence of a rose is in fact its unique scent. Without virtue, something that is beautiful seems fake, like the smell of an artificially scented rose candle. It has a pleasant smell, but there is a sense in which our noses aren’t satisfied because we long for the real thing; for the truth. In other words, a pleasurable appearance alone is not enough to satisfy. Our souls long for more than surface Beauty, we long forvirtue, for goodness, and for truth.
I’m sure many of you saw the recent film version of “Les Miserables.” Anne Hathaway’s powerful performance of “I dreamed a dream” was, from a purely visual aspect- ugly. She is dressed in rags, her head practically shaved, she has a dirty face with tears streaming down her cheeks, a runny nose, and a raw vocal production and yet...powerful.
Why? Because it was real, and it was truthful to the character, and therefore incredibly beautiful.
It was beautiful because it moves and transforms the audience by speaking about our common experiences as human beings and because she allowed herself to be vulnerable, fragile, and broken, and in doing so, she touched those places in all of us too and we wept with her and for her character. We live in a culture that I believe is quickly losing the ability to recognize and appreciate beauty.
| Sandra Crawford Williamson