Beauty is a good word.
Of course, when thinking of beauty, I usually think of physical beauty, the female form, a “face that could launch a thousand ships,” Helen of Troy注.
That is beauty, I suppose, or should I say superficial[表面的] beauty—eye-candy beauty. I am not sure that the above-mentioned is a full accounting of the word “beauty.”
When I was young, my mother thought the way to make me grow into a better person was to “beat the devil” out of me. She was convinced of the innate[先天的] sinful[有罪的] nature of all humans, especially her son—me. She would hold a switch[鞭子] over me and make me study for hours at a time. Come rain or shine, I studied: When finished with a book or passage, it was on to math or science. Nothing was more important than work. I did my work all right, all the while thinking, “When I grow up, I am going to kill that woman!”
I grew up. I have not killed her yet. I am pretty much over that notion[想法].
In thinking back, my mother had had the beauty beat down in her. Someone or something had injured her so that she could not—for the life of her—let her beauty show to her family. She is a beautiful woman and a beautiful person. She just could not, and still cannot, let her children see it.
I have seen her care, comfort and inner beauty manifested with other persons less fortunate—the downtrodden[受压迫的] in life, and animals—but remain hidden from the persons she should really let it shine upon.
Over the years of performing music, I have tried to control the audience either by laughter or witty[诙谐的] banter[逗趣] or provocative[令人振奋的] songs or any number of little acting tricks to entertain while also not really showing much of my real self. Little bits of the real me can be gleaned[收集] from the lyrics of my songs—bits here and there—little hints, so to speak.
I no longer think that is enough for me. I no longer want to hide behind this façade[外观] of I-will-kick-your-ass attitude.
I have decided now after some time and much introspection[反思] that I should not be afraid to reveal my beauty.
As men, we think it must be all machismo[男子气概], bluster[怒号], bad-ass attitude and scowls[不悦之色]. I know that, speaking for myself, I was and still am to a great extent[在很大程度上] afraid to reveal my soft, sensitive and beautiful nature.
I am going to try to do better and trust that while opening and pulling back the curtains, so to speak, others will be inspired and see themselves in the process—see themselves as beautiful. We all really are, you know. We just have to have the courage to divulge[泄露] that tender inner side. I am trying.
So when you pass someone and they say, “Hey, what’s the good word,” just say, “Beauty.”
You see, “beauty” is a good word.
注：传说特洛伊的海伦（Helen of Troy）貌若天仙，她的被诱拐成为希腊发动特洛伊战争的借口，由此产生了“能够发动千帆的绝世容颜”这一说法。