Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Substance Or Beauty

"Every morning, before leaving his home, the great philosopher Socrates used to stand in front of a mirror and gaze attentively at his reflection for several minutes.

One day, a disciple came upon him doing this, and was unable to suppress a smile at the sight of his master examining himself so closely.

Socrates turned to him and said, "You are smiling, no doubt, at the sight of this ugly old f...ellow staring at himself in the mirror, are you not? I do this everyday."

Shamed, the disciple bowed his head, but before he could beg pardon, Socrates continued: "On seeing myself in the mirror everyday, I become aware of my own ugliness. This strengthens my resolve to live in a way that the virtue of my work may outshine the unattractiveness of my countenance."

The disciple exclaimed, "Master, do you mean to say that those who are good looking should not look in a mirror at all?"

"Nothing of the sort" said Socrates. "They should also keep looking in the mirror to remind themselves to think, speak and behave in a way that is as beautiful and striking as they are. May not their actions cast a shadow over their pleasing appearance."
In this way Socrates left behind a profound lesson for all of us: Handsome is as handsome does.