loved to tell stories on himself. One of his favorites concerned itself
with physical appearance.
In the days when Lincoln used to be on
the circuit (traveling on horseback from one county court to another), he
was once approached by a stranger who said, "Excuse me, sir, but I have an
article which belongs to you."
"How is that?" Lincoln asked in
The stranger took a jackknife from his pocket. "This
knife," he said "was placed in my hand some years ago, with the injunction
that I was to keep it until I found a man homelier-looking than I am
myself. I have carried that knife for many years. Now I pass it on to
Lincoln added wryly, "I've carried that knife ever
Once when he was accused of being “two-faced,” he replied,
“If I had two faces, would I be wearing this one?”
One of Lincoln's
greatest assets was his ability to laugh at himself and he frequently
laughed at his physical appearance. But history does not remember him as
an "ugly" individual – in fact, often just the opposite. His spirit was
clothed in beautiful garments: character, honesty, humor and courage. And
there are other clothes he wore equally well – such as humility and
We say that beauty is skin deep. But it isn't really.
It has very little to do with the skin. True beauty is soul deep. It is a
fabric that is woven in the soul and worn in plain view.
speaks of clothing yourself with such things as compassion, kindness,
humility, gentleness and patience. Regardless of how good looking we may
otherwise be, I believe that these kinds of clothes will actually be what
people see – if not at first, certainly later.
This was taught to
me by a woman who used to think that if she were granted only one wish, it
would be to be beautiful. She saw her wheel-chair dependent body as
unsightly and, therefore, she missed her more attractive assets. But when
she was finally convinced of some of her beautiful personality traits by
her friends, she came to a different point of view. Today she says, "Now I
know I AM beautiful. Very beautiful."
It isn’t true that beauty is
skin deep. This woman learned that real beauty is soul deep. And when she
understood that, she saw that she was far more attractive than she had
So here’s to all of the beautiful people. They come
in different sizes and shapes. Some are old and some are young. They can
be found everywhere. And they look nothing alike, until you see the light
in their eyes. That light may just be a reflection of the beauty inside;
beauty that is soul deep.
– Steve Goodier