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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Appearances are not only deceiving but are unimportant

TO live happily is an inward power of the soul, when she is affected with indifference, towards those things that are by their nature indifferent.

MARCUS AURELIUS. MEDITATIONS. Book xi. 15
Today's reading from Words of the Ancient Wise involved three separate readings all dealing with appearances and how they are indifferents.  Our moral compass must be set on virtues to find its heading, not appearances.  Appearances can be easily changed to make them appear different than the reality of the situation really is.  We can be "photoshopped" to appear thinner, and younger than we actually are.  Humans can also use various techniques, press, lying, etc. to make ourselves appear to be different than we really are.  How many criminals and serial killers have evaded capture by using these techniques.  
Although it is nice to have a good public reputation it is much more important to be able to face ourself in the mirror and know that we have no blemishes or hidden facets in our moral character.  To Thine Own Self Be True is the best adage to live by.  When we fool ourselves and others we are only hurting ourselves and denying ourselves the joy of being completely free.  The joy of loving one's self and accepting who we are is an elusive quality in this complicated world that we live in.  Let's decide what our "best" self looks like and strive to be true to that "best" self in this life.  Building the moral framework and foundation to "be" the best self that we can be.  Someone who is able to greet the world without a mask, able to be truly honest with self and all others.  Honesty is a wonderful goal to take the rest of our lives to achieve.