Today, I watched the movie, Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson, with my family. We all enjoyed the story, the acting and the timeless message of hope. I was also reminded of a blog written nine years ago. …
When bogged down with a problem, I often like to take a walk. If the solution is nowhere in sight, my steps are slow and heavy. By the time the solution is within my grasp, my pace changes to a fast, jaunty style.
One day, the solution presented itself in form of a secret message of a fairy tale we have all read as a kid, “Beauty and the Beast”.
I am sure we can recollect the story of the kind young girl, Belle, who dared to live with a beast in order to save her father. We remember how her love finally transformed the monster into a charming prince.
How did the beautiful girl achieve such an amazing feat? Was she terrified when the beast howled at her? I have a pretty cousin who has married a man, certainly not for his outward looks. I wonder how she manages to live with him and love him? In love one looks past the external appearances and sees the person’s inner beauty. And, what if the situation is a little bit different? In spite of the external beauty, what if a person lacks inner beauty. How does love grow for such a person?
Many years ago, my father related to me a story about facing one’s own fear. There was a man who was troubled by the monster. The more he tried to run away from the monster, the more it would torture him. The monster was fierce and strong as long as he feared it. However, when he faced it with courage and bravery, the monster was powerless and melted into his body.
A while ago, my son borrowed a library book that had stories from all over the world. There was a Tibetan story that had a similar message. An orphan girl, grazing her Aunt’s yaks, had wandered into a cave. Suddenly, she was face to face with a savage, wild boar. Fear gripped her heart and she had no idea how to escape. But the wild boar was no ordinary creature. It started to speak in a language she understood. It asked her to forget her fear and look at it again, with love. Magically, this time the hog transformed itself, before her eyes, into a beautiful woman dressed in rainbow colored silk.
The fear and ugliness had been in her heart.
We can see the beauty in a beast if we are fearless and open-minded. We can also love it for the inner goodness.