Beautiful People

Lowell Bergman: Ordinary people under extraordinary pressure, Mike. What the hell do you expect? Grace and consistency?

The Insider (1999)

I was recently at a fast food joint with a friend getting a bite to eat. As we indulged in small talk between bites, I noticed a young man and woman enter.  The two of them looked gorgeous. They may have been a couple or may have even been siblings. As a couple I would label them as a “Jolie-Pitt” combo. The two were of them were both tall, slender and looked plenty sophisticated.

They sat down a couple of tables away. I eyed them with great admiration. My admiration had a bit of envy mixed in too. I felt myself wishing I was in the guy’s place. To have his features and looks would have been a dream. And if the woman was my better half, it would have been heaven.

However as time passed by, I realized that, things between the two were not as rosy as their looks. The pair were arguing constantly and there was growing anger. Although they tried to keep their voices down, any casual eavesdropper could understand the tension between the two. And I was guilty of being a casual eavesdropper. In between words with my friend I was trying to catch some of the sound bites from their table.

These were random strangers and I can’t claim to know their background or anything else about them. But from the little I heard I could tell that these two were hurting inside and were trying to get even with each other. I felt a great sadness. Why were these two beautiful people trying to tear each other apart? The reason did not matter; it was heartening to see them wash their dirty linen in public. I felt an urge to barge in and tell them they owe the rest of us (or just me) to be beautiful people. Not just looks but everything else. (In a fantasy) They were supposed to be perfect in every way.

The episode reminded me, beautiful looks or not, we all have those extraordinary pressures of relationships to deal with. When things go sour in a relationship it takes great effort to deal with it. Challenging conversations with our loved ones are probably the biggest test in life. But we have to try our very best to face it all with grace. Its with grace that we will find all the other good things like humility, humbleness, understanding, forgiveness,…. These are the values that will help us work through difficult moments. Then, maybe, just maybe we may discover our “true” beautiful selves.


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