Why do we allow society to dictate what is beautiful, of value, worthwhile … and what is not?

For me, Reginald reflects Margaret Wolfe Hungerford’s famous words that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

I know – Reginald is plain, ordinary … andReginald and cats MM (14) some have told me that Reginald is ugly.
It’s true that his legs are bowed. His arms are pudgy. His ears are big. His body is out of shape. His eyes bulge. His ears are large – very large. He’s the size of a three year old and his clothes are all hand-me-downs. His neck is short and almost non-existent. His mouth is – well …

But, for more than three decades, I have loved Reginald. He speaks words that penetrate deep to the heart of the hearer when he preaches … he makes me laugh … he listens with intentionality and concentration … he … Well, there’s just so much that I love about him. Ugly? Not at all!

To everyone who meets him, he is a delight. He helps people forget their worries and fears. He brings smiles to their faces. One Christmas Eve, he appeared in the pulpit of a church … literally “in” the pulpit — sitting on top of the lectern. People listened. People learned. People loved. In him, people saw beauty.

Reginald is not a human being. He was created in a day-long puppet-making workshop. When I had sewn on his last arm and began to put clothes on him, other participants laughed. They said he was ugly and that my creation was “anything but creative or artistic.” They were wrong.

I look at Reginald and I see beauty. I look at my family and I see beauty. I look at my neighbourhood and I see beauty. I look at my friends and I see beauty. I look at this world and I see beauty.

Why do we allow society to dictate what is beautiful, of value, worthwhile … and what is not? Why do some people have difficulty seeing themselves as a precious child of the universe who is blessed – who has gifts to share … beauty to reflect … intelligence to use … wisdom to impart, while at the same time, much yet to learn?

The Creator does not make junk. The Creator makes beauty — and Reginald helps me remember to look at the world and all who inhabit it, in a special way.

Beauty. It is all around. We just need eyes to see.

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