“We all start looking for the beautiful, the true, and the good in other people. Each of us feels that we lack something, that we are only half a person. And we wander around looking for our other half. We have an inferiority complex and believe that the true, the good, and the beautiful don’t exist in us. We have a perception that we are not worthy. We don’t say these things – we may not even be consciously aware of them – but deep down we feel that we have no beauty, goodness, or truth.
Because we wish we had these things, we try to seem like we do, even if only on the outside. We want to show other people that we are good, that we are not really beautiful, even if only in appearance. And so we try to improve our appearance with cosmetics, clothes, diets, or plastic surgery. We want to appear more truthful and knowledgeable, so we look for things to study or unusual experiences that will bring us prestige. We adorn ourselves with titles and awards.
We are all deceiving each other. Deep down we feel there is nothing good, beautiful, and true in us, and at the same time we are desperate to show other people how good, beautiful, and truthful we are. And while we are deceiving others, we are also being deceived by them.
The truth is that people think that the true, the beautiful, and the good exist somewhere else, in someone else. They don’t know that they are true, beautiful, and good at their core. When we know the truth, we will stop going in search of something. We will stop wandering around feeling that we lack something. And we are able to stop deceiving others. We don’t have to adorn ourselves because we have discovered the true, the beautiful, and the good here within us.”
Reference: Thich Nhat Hanh