I was hoping that my random pick of characters would be something a little more holidayishy. But no, this is the beauty who showed up under my scrolling fingertip. (I keep a library of my watercolors on my phone, thanks to Instagram.)
I see extraordinary beauty whenever a woman stands up for what’s right. It’s easy to talk about over coffee or a glass of wine, and even easier when we’re the wronged party.
In real, daily life, though, it’s hard. We know that if we stand up, we risk being thought of as confrontational or moralizing or insufferably self righteous. That might be because we generally stand up when we’re angry and anger makes us melodramatic.
I like imagining what it would look like if we stood up and stepped forward because we believed we owed it to each other. And if, when we did wrong, we didn’t go straight to feeling betrayed and unmasked when someone mentioned it.
In my own mistake-loaded experience, it’s not that hard to have a sense of humor when I’m caught. It’s surprising, how many things I’ve done wrong just because I wasn’t paying any attention to anything at all except exactly what I wanted to be doing.
I remember when I’d just bought a BMW – an old BMW, but still it was a more powerful beast than my previous car. I turned into a parking lot and passed two young women, college students. ‘Slow down!’ one snapped.
I did. I was sorry. I parked and, now on foot, I met the pair again and approached them deliberately. Suddenly, the snapper-at-me looked very nervous, clearly unhappy about the confrontation sure to come. ‘I just wanted to say thank you,’ I said. It was a good and, although small, brave thing she did. We teach each other.
When we parted, she was shining. That’s extraordinary beauty.