Renewal is a compelling idea

old macdonald comic

Renewal is a compelling idea. It must be the reason we see it in so many forms.

Religious people say that when they are baptized they are renewed as people. In Logans Run, renewal is what happened to people to convince them to kill themselves. The beauty industry promises the regeneration of skin and beauty. Medical doctors say they can set the clock back. When people divorce they say they are “starting fresh” and people love the idea of makeovers where they completely redo how they present themselves as people.

As a society we seem to want to show others an outward appearance of change and vitality, but who are we on the inside? I have a documentary in my Favorite Videos section of two plastic surgeons who look in their prime, but their personalities and thinking are quite old and rigid. You will say to me, “The world judges the appearance of things. No one cares to give me a job based on being kind.” That may be true. What is also true is that they are not mutually exclusive. You can look however you want, but isn’t it just as important to renew the person you are inside?

What I have experienced in life is people who outwardly look attractive, and whose personalities and characters are childish. I feel sorry for them. Rather than experience the benefits of being thoughtful and mature, they are stuck in patterns that they once were stuck in decades ago. It is clear that they suffer because of their thinking and values. How cruel it is that they didn’t have the education, or the opportunity to learn something more useful. That being human is about growing, and that growth is more important than being cute.

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People get famous and rich by being cute, but it doesn’t mean that their lives are happy or joyful. I have had more joy with ugly people than I ever did with attractive ones. Attractive ones were so vain that they could never enjoy the moment because they were always worried about their looks. I’d rather be ugly and rejected, than cute and shallow.