© 2015 Kebba Buckley Button, MS, OM. World Rights Reserved.
This column is always about how we can beat stress and live the best possible life, having the most health and happiness. I definitely teach the use of beauty to uplift our moods, our homes, and our appearances. However, sometimes, when we believe an initial pleasant appearance that actually covers ugly substance, we can be deceived, ripped off, damaged, or even dead. We need to keep beauty in perspective and consider what may be underneath.
Recently, I looked out at the Feng Shui Garden, and the Mojito Mint had grown a white blossom almost as large as one of the mint leaves (see photo to the left)! For a minute, I was startled and thrilled! Then, my scientist-gardener brain took over and said, “[N]o no, that’s a blossom that fell from the flowering tree above; I recognize that blossom as something else.” For a moment, I believed the appearance. Then I recognized the truth. This was a pleasant example and gave me a good chuckle. Appearances can be deceiving. And sometimes it’s just silly. It doesn’t matter.
In my youth, I somehow absorbed the principle that beautiful people have beautiful values and personalities. How I got that is another article. But in my professional life in the engineering world, I mistook beautiful people for nice people a few times, to my great loss. In a simple example, a beautiful, sparkling person, who I mistook for positive, said something vicious with a huge, sparkling smile, and then stole my only copy of a valuable document. It was never returned. Another beautiful, sparkling person routinely made up damaging stories about me, with a joyful smile, claiming he had known me well in grad school. This was all a total lie, but so well delivered that everyone believed him and believed I was secretly the person he claimed me to be—against their own powers of observation as to who I was. They were completely sucked in by his charm. In neither case did anyone believe what these men had done, so I had no recourse. I wonder how many other good people these two had damaged? And they aren’t the only ones doing harm to others for fun. Beautiful people can be nasty sociopaths, often using their looks and charm to manipulate others. Sometimes we realize the truth too late. Sound familiar?
In some regions, we have garden snails. The snails move slowly and have beautiful, lyrically curved shells. The French make escargot dishes with garlic and butter, for which people pay a premium in restaurants. So snails are lovely, slow, harmless, and sometimes beneficial as a food, right? Yet now we hear, in the news, that there are Giant African Land Snails with one skill set: eating. These snails eat 500 species of plants and also houses. Yes, houses. In the first 6 months of life, they crave building materials like stucco, to build up calcium in their beautiful bodies. These snails get to be up to 9 inches long, live up to 9 years, and they have no natural predators. They are currently the most damaging pest in Southern Florida housing, and they are moving across Florida. Their appearance is deceiving, until you recognize the truth. They are beautiful but harmful.
Online, there is a professional and beautiful magazine called Inspire. The pages are filled with high-end commercial art. The images are stunning. But is this a spiritual journal? Actually, it is a jihadist magazine. It carries articles on how to make bombs in your Mom’s kitchen, and worse. The Boston bombers are said to have taken inspiration from this magazine. The beautiful magazine’s appearance is deceiving. It leads to death. Now you can recognize the truth. It’s beautiful but harmful.
To Katherine Russell, an artistic Christian from Rhode Island, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was handsome and compelling. In her college days in Boston, Katherine converted to Islam, married Tamerlan Tsarnaev. and began wearing a hajib. She had a daughter with Tsarnaev. He and his brother bombed the Boston Marathon in 2013. Now she is Katherine Tsarnaev, the widow of one of the most famous bombers of our time. Her husband’s appearance and compelling nature were deceiving. Fatally deceiving. Now Katherine has gone back to her maiden name and hides, with her daughter, in her parents’ home in Rhode Island. She talks with Federal investigators a lot. She dodges paparazzi and hopes to avoid Federal charges. Perhaps she now recognizes the truth about that charismatic man. He was gorgeous but deadly.
As humans, we are sometimes so compelled by beauty that we must touch it and sometimes tango with it. Ever since Eve spied a gorgeous apple in the Garden of Eden, we have had trouble with temptation around beauty. Think of the times you were fooled by glamour and charm. Perhaps we should all relax and take things slowly around too much beauty and shimmer. Staying deeply rooted in our Peace Within, let’s gradually try to get the true nature of someone or something before we get sucked in by appearances—and get really hurt.
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- Kebba Buckley Button is a stress management expert. She also has a natural healing practice and is an ordained minister. She is the author of the award-winning book, Discover The Secret Energized You (http://tinyurl.com/b44v3br), plus the 2013 book, Peace Within: Your Peaceful Inner Core, Second Edition(http://tinyurl.com/mqg3uvc ). Her newest book is Sacred Meditation: Embracing the Divine, available through her office. Just email SacredMeditation@kebba.com.
- For an appointment or to ask Kebba to speak for your group: firstname.lastname@example.org .