letter to the editor

Does beautiful define the soul?

Mon, 02/04/2019 - 4:00pm

Dear Editor:

I once met the granddaughter of a good friend. She was a child full of laughter and smiles, but would not let me call her beautiful. I remember in my own childhood that I did not want my parents to call me beautiful – wouldn’t that be prejudice? My beautiful remarks were based on a beauty you couldn’t see, but you could feel it through the smile in her eyes.

What makes someone beautiful, to me, is their generosity, courage, kindness, and sense of humor. As a child we frequently lack understanding of our inner soul.

I was excited when I came upon Michal Snunit’s “The Soul Bird” book that begins “Deep within each of us lies a soul.” As a child, this book answered many of my questions about my feelings that were often kept inside, including special happy ones, angry ones, silent ones, talking ones, and ones with courage. No person is born without a soul. Last Monday night, I witnessed an unexpected event of a young person with the most courageous and beautiful soul I have seen or felt on this earth – Kechi Okwuchi returned to “America’s Got Talent.”

The beauty I felt and the miracle I witnessed drove me to tears even as I was in awe. The miracle was the strong will of a child who was one survivor among her 60 classmates in an airplane crash. These were 60 good friends among 107 total deaths and Kechi survived with third degree burns and more than 100 surgeries to treat burns and other injuries. She still remembered her mother’s singing during each recovery, which became a reason Kechi sings today.

Kechi’s song, “You Are The Reason,” was a song to honor her 60 friends who died.

She calls back her friends as they are the reason she is breathing. Whether it was the song, the beautiful soul or lighting on stage, I saw the outline of her 60 friends who were at her feet. Kechi’s performance brought the house down, but it was her beautiful soul that caught my tears. It is okay to be called beautiful because it is the definition of our soul.

Jarryl Larson