Notice the Beauty

Growing up, I had an awesome home life. My parents took care of my brother and I wonderfully and I was blessed to grow up in a Christian home. My parents sacrificed a ton for my brother and I. I always felt loved and was always encouraged!

School was another subject. I will be honest, up until high school, I hated school. I didn’t hate the educational part. I enjoyed learning new things and worked very hard. It was the social aspect that I detested. I was a bit overweight and very shy, so I was picked on by other kids quite a bit. Unfortunately, the teachers were the ones who picked on me the most. Between the elementary and junior high years, I can only remember about 3 good teachers. The others were just plain mean to me. In my 5th grade year, I had a teacher that I still remember well. Because I was shy, she put my desk right in the middle of some boys to try to help me “come out of my shell”. Unfortunately, these particular boys were the ones who had been the meanest to me previously and continued to be meaner by the day. They would call me names every single day and I would come home in tears constantly. When my parents discussed this with my teacher, she said that I was too quiet and that I needed to lose some weight, so she thought this would help. Where is the reasoning in this? This type of treatment continued through my 8th grade year. Thank goodness, high school was a much better experience for me. Almost all of the teachers were very encouraging.

As I was thinking about these past experiences, I got to thinking: as humans we are very fast to notice the negatives in other people. Going back to my early school years, it seems that the teachers focused on the negatives that they saw in me (my weight, my quietness, my lack of confidence) and I received very little encouragement from them. I got good grades, but I do not remember many teachers who noticed that over my visible flaws.

As an adult, I still notice this fact. People are so apt to notice the flaws rather than the beauty. For example, if someone’s hair is a mess, that is all we see. We don’t even notice the beautiful sweater they may be wearing or that they have a pretty smile. We can only focus on that one flaw.

Wouldn’t it be great if we noticed the beauty right away and only focused on that? It would change our attitudes and would be such an encouragement to others along the way. My new self challenge is to see the beauty in everything at first glance. Maybe this is a dream world and too idealistic, but I am going to try it. If it works, it will be more encouraging to me and I can be an encouragement to others. People already know what their individual flaws are, they do not to be reminded of them. What they do need to be reminded of is their beauty and their worth. After all, nobody is worthless! God doesn’t make mistakes!  He makes beauty in all things! Let’s start noticing the beauty first, not the imperfections.  This could change everything!

Written by Kathryn Conrad

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