"There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart," said she afterwards to herself. "There is nothing to be compared to it. Warmth and tenderness of heart, with an affectionate, open manner, will beat all the clearness of head in the world, for attraction, I am sure it will. It is tenderness of heart which makes my dear father so generally beloved--which gives Isabella all her popularity.-- I have it not--but I know how to prize and respect it. - Jane Austen, Emma (Volume 2, Chapter XIII)
If this isn't your invitation to read "Emma" by Jane Austen, now is your time!
Emma Woodhouse is a simply put a privileged and spoiled young woman in Regency England, with nothing else better to do but play matchmaker - unsuccessfully, of course. But one thing she was able to to do is recognize (evident from this quote) that is there is more to life than high society. And she had enough sense to understand that "charm", which so many people possessed in that time - pales in comparison to a genuine heart.
Emma (2020) Creator: Album / Alamy Stock Photo
And over 200 years have passed, and not much has changed. We are still living in a world of facades, false fronts and false pretenses. Opulence and decadence are being glorified and awarded; meanwhile, us simpletons feel like we don't measure up. What gives?
What is to be said about the charm vs. tenderness of heart?
In the end - which prevails?
Well, I'm here to tell you if you are doing something for the right reasons, it always comes across and you always end up winning. You may not be attracting droves of individuals to you or your cause, but you have the ability to reach a few - the ones that really matter.
One of my biggest themes life is authenticity and good motives. I feel that this is important because I have observed so many people do what someone else is doing, for popularity's sake. They shy away from sharing who they truly are, for fear that people will cast them away.
Take me for example!
Just in this instance, I can completely relate as an African American woman who happens to love Jane Austen literature - literature that speaks nothing of the experiences of many African American people. But for me, I don't have to identify with the characters based on the color of my skin or similar experiences.
I can simply enjoy the literature because I love a good story.
At first I did wonder if people would look at me differently for sharing my love of English literature or think it was odd for me to entertain; but keeping it to myself does nothing for me or anyone else. This is who I am - and I do not apologize for it.
I am who I am.
Photo credit: beaandbloom.com/ Pinterest
So I really want you remember that tenderness of heart does prevail over charm! It's not the likes, follows, brand recognition or sales that determine your worth. It's your pure motives, your heart condition - you staying true to you. And you will also get less headaches, I promise; because living in your truth relieves you of so much stress.
I hope this is a good reminder! Feel free to check out my Pinterest page discussing the topic of "Authenticy" (click here) and please comment on this post and share your experiences battling this issue. We have all struggled with it - so it is helpful to know we are not alone!
I hope you are doing well!