The other day while scanning the news in the local papers I saw this hideous picture of an ugly man; face all patched up, hardly any nose, no eyebrows and two skin projections for ears! He had been through a gruesome accident which had left him in this condition.

A magazine had labeled him, ‘the ugliest man in the world.’

But what held my fascination was not the man, but a beautiful woman who was clasping him from behind and holding him tight. This was his wife who in her eyes saw him only as the most handsome man in her world. From her eyes I could see that she did not see revolting, horrid face that stared down at me. She it seemed saw an inner beauty that made her love her man.

The movie Mask is the true story of a sixteen year old boy, Rocky Dennis. Rocky had a rare disease, which made the bones of his head grow larger than normal. His face was out of shape and horrible looking. Rocky accepted himself as he was.

One day he joined his friends on a visit to an amusement park. The boys went into a ‘house of mirrors’ and had fun watching distorted reflections of their bodies and faces, Suddenly Rocky screams. His friends hear him and run to where he is standing in front of a mirror.

The mirror had distorted his misshapen face in a way that made it appear normal. Rocky realized that he was really very handsome. His friends stared at the reflection and it was as if they were staring into the very depths of Rocky’s soul, and from then on their perception of Rocky changed. They began to look at the real Rocky and not the one they could see.

I guess what the man’s wife had was a special mirror in which she saw her husband as the good looking man, he actually was. Maybe what we all need is that kind of mirror.

I will never forget the story of God telling the prophet Samuel, “Man looks at the outside, I look at the heart” or of St Paul writing to the people of Corinth, telling them, “The trouble with you is that you make your decisions on the basis of appearance!”

Absolutely true! We decide whether we like a man or woman quite often fooled by good looks, whereas inside his or heart is that of deceitful, wicked person.

Get a special mirror! Look deeper, start looking at the heart.

Or you can remember the picture I saw: A magazine had labeled him ‘the ugliest man in the world,’ but his wife knew he was beautiful!

Today on Gandhiji’s birthday, think of that small, not a very good looking man, who didn’t need great looks to win our freedom, using just non-violence and love..!

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