The most beautiful people...


The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depth.

Beautiful people do not just happen.

I came across this motivational quote the other day — I can’t say if someone of notoriety said this or if it was a person who had insight into the human condition.

Either way, I like it very much.

I think it may come from a fundamental belief that when something is too easy we are given nothing for it, and although I will admit I may be misguided with this simple premise, I don’t believe we grow when something is too easy. We are hardwired for struggle when we come into this world and it’s the struggle that is the blue print for our growth and success — having it too easy isn’t holistically in our best interest.

As a species we have done an extremely good job of controlling our environment and minimizing the historical struggles that came with day to day survival (the spectre of famine, war, disease, or the wrath of mother nature). I’m not suggesting that these still aren’t very real for people but I will suggest that in North America, for the most part, when someone says they had a day where they really struggled, they are not referring the four horsemen.

Black and white; good and bad; right and wrong, love and hate, sweet and sour… hard and easy. More and more we seem to think in absolutes, whereas it’s really about the spectrum between these opposing extremes; it is the struggle that happens between the two polar extremes where our growth and strength can be found. And as the quote suggests, it is only in that struggle that you will ever become all you can be (aka beautiful). When it’s easy there is no effort but when it’s a struggle there is effort, strain, creative thinking, adversity, development, defeat, understanding, and victory. It may just be me, but I just don’t see the beauty (or adventure, for that matter) in something being easy.

And as I think about it, I think it also applies to familiar, controlled, comfortable and predictable.

Although, as I said, I may be misguided.