All We Are

A while ago I saw Milery Cyrus (aka Hanna Montana) being interviewed on Good Morning America about a photo shoot she had done which was appearing in some fashion magazine. To her credit she talked about the two hours of makeup preparation prior to the shoot and the airbrushing that was done to the photos afterwards before they were ready for the magazine. She concluded by saying this process would make any individual look beautiful and sexy. This was quite a mature, candid and astute observation for such a young woman. During my 34 years of teaching I was constantly trying to help students see themselves in a more positive light. When we are subjected to negative interactions in our daily lives we tend to wonder what is the matter with us. When in reality, we should be thinking what’s wrong with the other person. We are bombarded daily with messages of what the ideal image and lifestyle for us should be. Few, if any of us, can live up to these unrealistic expectations. The majority of people seem to be less than satisfied with their physical features. This is very evident when we look at the rise in cosmetic surgery over the past few years. As Oden Black pointed out in his last blog Love You. Love Me! “We look in the mirror and see deficiencies, which are compounded by everyday negative comments and messages we receive from those around us.” Our society worships youth and perfection. How many times have you turned on the television or opened a magazine to see a celebrity who has had so much plastic surgery they are hardly recognizable. There is an additional obsession for many people to look young and in shape, and many individuals take the shortest and quickest methods available to achieve this goal such as liposuction or dangerous fad diets. If I paraphrase Buddhism’s Four Noble Truths we can begin to see a way to relieve some of this way of thinking.

 Life is full of suffering

Suffering is due to desire

Trying to eliminating desire

Will lead to a life with less suffering

 Several years ago I was seeing a psychiatrist who asked me if I could identify any positive things that had come as a result of my condition. After several minutes of thought, I said I had met some wonderful people, but could think of no others. He then suggested to me that I no longer had to worry about vanity. What a ridiculous statement! If anything I’m more vain. In fairness to him, like most of the doctors I deal with, he had little experience with someone with my disability. The point I’m getting at here is that most people in society have hang ups about the way they look and the way others perceive them. So, as individuals with disabilities we are not as different from others as we may think we are. We would all be much more content and enjoy our lives much more if we accepted our physical selves the way we are and allow nature and the aging process to follow their normal courses.

As Matt Nathanson has written in his song “All We Are”

 I kept falling over
I kept looking backward
I went broke believing
That the simple should be hard

 ‘Cause all we are we are
All we are we are
And every day is a start of something beautiful, something real

All we are we are
All we are we are
And every day is a start of something beautiful, beautiful

One response to “All We Are

  1. bloggercsstemplate

    I sing it with my wife.

    Saul Dr.

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