Tulips are kind of like people. The more you look inside of them the more beautiful they become.
Have you ever had the experience of meeting someone, either in-person or online, where your first reaction to them was rather ho-hum or "yes, and?" and then they open their mouth and you are instantly pulled in to them?
A saying that comes to mind for me is 'Never judge a book by it's cover.' I see this played out on a popular TV show where a contestant sings before a panel of judges, and for some, this is the first time they have ever presented their talent in front of anyone. Even their family. They are hesitant to open up because they aren't sure how their voice will be perceived.
I hear the judges say time and again "Where did that voice come from?" or "I wasn't expecting that to come out of you!" And I find myself thinking the same thing about them.
We all have certain expectations about how someone 'should' sound based on how they present themself or their appearance.
And our judgement may not just stem from our past experiences. We could also be being manipulated by the person themselves. On this same show I have also seen contestants come in to sing a song dressed in outlandish outfits, bringing with them all types of props that they are using for visual gags and then they open their mouths to sing and it's 180 degrees different than the picture they have been painting of themself.
Perhaps we have been guilty of this type of behavior at times, where we purposefully try to 'fool' someone and play a joke on them by acting in a completely different way than we normally do. Or are we acting out different aspects of our personalities? As actors we are encouraged to tap into different parts of who we are and bring those personas to life.
But it could also be something deeper, where we might find ourselves in a situation where we aren't confident that who we really are would be accepted by the people around us, so we mask ourselves by putting up a wall so that we don't feel hurt if we are rebuffed or judged harshly.
As you go about your day today, or even as your week unfolds, be aware of those people you are encountering who are either very loud and attempting to gain the attention of others around them or who appear to be very shy and quiet and aren't speaking up much. Perhaps you might be able to notice something about them that isn't right on the surface or might not be a key component in how they usually present themselves to others.
Maybe it's complimenting the boisterous person for their content, rather than their delivery. It could be applauding the hesitant one for sharing their opinion or the way in which they spoke. Or even saying something not even related to what was said. Just something you noticed about them or remembered from a previous encounter with them.
If we go that extra step and are willing to look a little closer, or have patience and spend a little time with someone, we may be rewarded with an even deeper understanding of a fellow human being. Which in turn, will allow ourselves to also open up just a little bit more and make us more receptive to the beauty that we encounter every day.
Just keep in your mind a picture of a tulip. Be reminded that what we see on the outside is not always indicative of what is on the inside.