Beauty vs. Character
These days nearly everyone seems to be obsessed with physical beauty. One major indicator is the alarming rate at which beauty saloons/treatment centers are opening everywhere and now menâ€™s saloonsâ€™ are not considered unusual either. Furthermore cosmetic surgery has become very common as well. I do agree that it is good to look after oneâ€™s well-being, but to go to the extent that we are, is a little too much. Like just the other day I was walking by a shop, when a poster caught my eye. It read â€œWant to become the next Top Model?â€ That really made me wonder about the direction our society has taken and it also struck me that have we ever seen a poster saying something like â€œWant to become the next Nobel Prize Winner?â€ Now that would be something worthwhile.
This emphasis on beautification of oneself is due to the continuous projection by the foreign media which has had a significant influence on our national media. As a result we are facing grave consequences. For instance one finds that at school/college level, our youth have become dangerously image conscious. While in the case of marriages, even if a person is happy with the way he/she looks, people still keep pointing out the shortcomings. Therefore if he/she chooses to live the way they are, they simply become social outcasts. So at some point in time the person may be forced to take action which is often quite drastic, because if you donâ€™t fit a certain criterion, you are just not good enough. This mind-set has created so many problems such as inferiority complex, depression, frustration and a feeling of worthlessness especially in females, and is one of the reasons why many remain unmarried these days till a late age.
On the contrary how often do we think about enhancing our character? We know that Islam lays so much stress on its refinement. More importantly those who possess a high character are nearer to Allah, which alone is a good enough reason for wanting to develop it. However since it is a difficult thing to do, we just avoid it, even though it is seen that a person with a good character will always be remembered by others. And fortunately for us, our rich history has extraordinary examples of people who serve as role models. To quote Jackson Brown â€œGood character is more to be praised than outstanding talent. Most talents are, to some extent, a gift. Good character, by contrast, is not given to us. We have to build it, piece by piece -- by thought, choice, courage, and determinationâ€
Also hasnâ€™t it happened many a times; that at first sight someone might appeal to you, but when you fall into conversation with that person, if he/she has no personality, you soon feel bored and the attraction is lost. Whereas if someone is average looking but has a good personality, one rapidly forgets the face and simply enjoys the company.
So beauty is not everlasting nor can the human nature ever be satisfied, for we constantly compare ourselves with others, continue to find flaws in our physical being and keep wanting what others have, and as someone once said â€œTo wish you were someone else is to waste the person you are.â€. While character is something; that the more we nurture it, the better it becomes and also remains with us till the very end.
So if only people would spend more time cultivating their character instead of wasting their time perfecting their physical appearance then this world would be a much better place to live in.
Therefore let us be happy the way we are, and let others be happy they way they are, for Allah has made each one of us unique. Let us not make lives difficult for each others. And if there is anything we should change then it should be ourselves i.e. our thoughts, our actions and our habits. Let them be of the highest standard, for that is the prerequisite for attaining an outstanding character. ___________________________________