Thursday, September 15, 2011

Beauty in the Raw

"For myself I am an optimist - it does not seem to be much use being anything else." Winston Churchill
By: Suzie Carr

Free spirits—you know the kind—the ones who walk with a skip in their step, a whistle from their lips, and a sparkle in their eye, who have the ability to brighten lives. They radiate joy and show a deep appreciation for life.

I am attracted to free spirits
- completely drawn to them. I’m fortunate to have quite a few in my life.

Even in the midst of adversity, these people look at life with gratitude. They can harness the good from what others might view as worthless. They see a pile of work as a great way to accomplish something, a bad customer service situation as the ideal way to make someone happy, a challenging circumstance as one that can lift a person to higher ground.

They see the world in a brighter light and are not tarnished by its demands. My ninety-six-year-old grandfather is a free spirit. I’ve never heard him speak negatively about anything or anyone, and this man would be justified with the challenges that have attempted to break him down. I believe the secret to his contagious positive spirit lies in the way he chooses to view things.

Viewpoint is a powerful phenomenon.
Something could be troubling or it could be beauty in the raw. It’s our choice. Take a dandelion flower. A landscaper who works hard to make her garden perfect may view it as a troublesome weed, while a person who looks out at cement everyday may see it as a beautiful flower. Or take a bag of bruised apples. Aren’t they really the perfect ingredient for a delicious homemade apple pie? My grandfather would say so.

classic example of extracting the good out of the bad is with Jimmy Stewart’s character in the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”. What was once a drafty ole’ house became his life-affirming salvation and sought-after sanctuary. The job he had once viewed as a burden that was handed down to him became his saving grace and one of the many reasons for living. When he stepped back and viewed his situation as a blessing, he saw it for its value. He suddenly choose to see purpose in everything, even the broken staircase railing that earlier tore him up inside.

Imagine the power we could harness if we saw broken things as a pathway to change or a road to better things to come?

Do you know of someone like this? If so, how have they affected your viewpoint?

- Suzie Carr
I feel it's critical to support the community, and so I've committed to donate a portion of my book sale proceeds to Chely Wright's LikeMe foundation ( to help provide support, resources and education to LGBT individuals, and their families and friends.

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