Inspirational Articles

Provocative Thoughts From The Next Generation

Being You To The Fullest

Beauty. What is it to you? Please think of what makes something beautiful in your eyes. Whether it is a rainbow in the sky, a fast car on the freeway or a passionate kiss between lovers.

When I was a teenager I soon realized that beauty in itself meant nothing to me. Beauty is simply beauty. But when something becomes beautiful, or, we notice that it is beautiful, that is when the magic happens.

You see, I don’t know about your definition, but to me beauty doesn’t exist in and of itself. Beauty, on the other hand, I believe, is achieved when something has reached its upmost capacity for being. Translation?

Let’s look at a Rose. A beautiful flower, right? But when is it beautiful? Not after it has seen its prime and is turning brown and not before it has fully sprouted and still is locked up in its protective green case. It is in that moment when the red rose fully extends its every petal that is beautiful.

Of course, within the birth and death of the rose there exists a whole other process of life and beauty in itself but let’s just make things easy and look from the big picture.

So when is our life Beautiful? Is it right in the middle when the strength of youth and the wisdom of wise age are at a crossroads? Perhaps, but for the sake of my soul and perhaps yours I don’t care to define mine or other people’s beauty by their age.

Instead, like the rose, I believe people, you, me and all of them, become beautiful when we are reaching out and extending ourselves towards our fullest capacity. Like Kobe playing basketball, Tiger playing golf, Shakespeare writing sonnets, Clinton on the stand…. We all have our areas where we bloom like the rose. We all can find inspiration in what we love.

Please don’t read this and think, “Who the hell is he to say when I or my lover are beautiful.” If you have your own personal definition then by all means, please keep it!

What’s more is we each judge when someone is reaching their fullest capacity differently. For some it might be making 9 figures a year while for others they might consider having a happy family of 3, 4 or 10 the capacity of beauty. As in the literal garden we all have our favorite flowers, as do we have our favorite walks and meanings in life.

In short, one day as I sat reading at a coffee table I started jumping up, down and all around. Not because I was on drugs, because I looked at the word Beautiful and with this thought in mind I saw something. Can you see it?

Look at the word.


Now break it down into several parts and what do you see?

Got it?

Personally what comes to my eye is “Be-U-to-full” which I then take to mean Be You to the Full!

The literal definition of Beauty describes the word as an adjective describing something that is in harmony with nature, often leading to feelings of attraction and emotional well-being. This definition gives us a good idea about the results of beauty. As I read “in harmony with nature” I interpret that to mean “reaching its fullest capacity,” whatever we think the flower should look like in its “perfect” condition.
Uh oh, perfect, I sense a trap.

Growing up in a Christian family, I always heard about Jesus, this perfect guy, so perfect God even claimed him as His Son. From that moment on I was screwed, I always wanted to be the best so I started comparing my actions to the “perfect” One. In case you haven’t tried it, being like Jesus, or at least the Jesus we know of from the Bible, is not easy.

Sure I had the smart ass part down, when I went on my own way and didn’t tell anyone where I was going I could always say, “Sorry guys, I was learning about my father in Heaven,” but other than that sweet move I pretty much had nothing on Jesus. Fasting for forty days didn’t do any good, I was able to walk on frozen water but never any lakes, never could turn water into a good glass of wine and I certainly didn’t love everybody (Ok, now we think maybe Jesus didn’t either but can we please go ahead and go with the old version of Jesus? I’m trying to write an article here and all the new age thoughts are destroying my validity. Jesus.).

Now get this, I really like this part, all of a sudden after trying and trying to be like Jesus it struck me, I’m not being myself. Wow! Remember all those people who told you, “Don’t give into peer pressure, be yourself!” Well, I think they might have been onto something. How can we be “beautiful” when we are acting like other people? When we are simply re-enacting what we think looks, feels or sounds good?

Hold on a second! I’m not saying don’t do things because you see other people do it. By all means, try it! Let’s just evaluate that when we do these things we are slowly and most likely making them a part of our image and thus, a part of whom we are.
So back onto the other track, “Don’t give into peer pressure” and in the same breath “Don’t give into Jesus pressure.”

Somehow I really doubt that Jesus intended us to aspire to be like someone else (even if it is Him) our whole lives, at least the Jesus I have come to understand and love.
Now, let’s lasso this thought shall we?

Remember that definition of beautiful? Being you to the full? I now have a problem with it. What is this problem you dare think? I think the problem is pretty simple, who in the world are “you”!?!?!

Don’t look at me, I mean read this, but not for answers, just take a moment and then keep reading.

* * * * *

Ok, so you know who you are now right? I hope so because I haven’t a clue. Whenever I come up with some clever answer to figuring out who we are it always is imploded like a Panzer tank from WWII when they load the bullet in the wrong way. (Pretty sure that happened in Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail???)

Personally I like the idea that I am me to the fullest when I am the happiest. Some friends would call me a selfish pig for this definition, and I might deserve it, but hey, this is me over here and I guess that is you over there.

Besides, who knows what really makes us happy right? I’m not talking about orgasms and cocktail parties (but if that is your thing then God bless you). I’m talking about a happiness that is transferred from one person to the other like fashion through Paris. I get happiest when A) On stage playing coldplay on the piano. And B) when I get that feeling that someone is truly being “helped” by something that I have done or said. I like that feeling, or I guess when I win the lotto but that typically doesn’t happen as much.

What makes you happy? People I think attach all sorts of ideas and conditions to happiness, or better yet, True happiness (please notice the capital). And that is great, like Bobby McFerrin said 3,000 times in his song, “be happy.”

So perhaps when we are in harmony with nature (our own personal capacity, achieving a goal, feeling FULLfilled), we are happy. Which would then tie another lasso around the definition of beautiful because it says that the results of beauty entails emotional well-being…… happiness!

(Maybe it is a small small small world after all?)

And maybe Sheryl Crow was onto something. If it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad. But, if it (really) makes you happy (fulfillment and all that Jazz) then why the hell are you so sad?