Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Beauty but No Substance

For those of you who read my blog on the regular, you should have learned a few things about me. First is that my family comes first. Also, that I am an old school Memphis Mac, I love writing and making music, women, got an IQ way over 150, that I’m working with a lot of something (u make the call) and that I am a simple country boy. This past week I was in Bethesda making a presentation to the National Institutes of Health on my infectious disease prevention work in prisons in South Africa. I was there with about 25 or so other scientist from around the world who are doing work in the country and were also funded by NIH.

One of the people there gave a presentation on their work, which was also on correctional populations. His slides were beautiful, the colors were vivid and his statistical presentation of the data seemed appropriate. However, when he neared the end of his presentation, he concluded, “participants with low levels of impulse control were six times more likely to be incarcerated and therefore, impulse control is a major factor in incarceration.” Me being a supposed expert in the area, and concerned regarding his implication that mental deficits account for incarceration more than any other factor, asked him a question at the end of his presentation: “Did you discern how much of the variation in self reported impulse control was a function of education, or race, or proximity to living in urban areas given increased penalty enhancements for conducting a criminal act in a drug free zone for example?”

His answer was “No.”

“Well how can you assert such? Doing such is almost Sir Francis Galton like.”

I was told by my grandmother and have heard other say that “Beauty is only skin deep.” Meaning that what is on the surface is not important, but rather what is on the inside. It is what is on the inside that makes one beautiful. It is what is inside that reflects integrity, responsibility, commitment, value respect and passion. Moreover, it is what is inside that makes one reflect such in acts of kindness and positive unconditional regard to others. Otherwise, one can be the most attractive or beautiful person in looks and external features but uglier than a motherfucker on the inside and reflect such in the way they treat people.

I am glad I had the chance to ask him about his presentation. For if I did not, people would have just said how great it was and how good it looked, and how well put together it was. His findings were useless without the substance attached to plausible explination. Underneath it all, it was ugly for he tried to assert that factors related to ones mental state were the most significant variables of all when it comes to individuals being incarcerated. Again, I say, beauty is only skin-deep; it is what is on the inside that counts, which means beauty is nothing and pointless without substance.

12 comments:

poison said...

I learned the true meaning of beauty before I was ten years old- thanks to what I heard my mother say about a woman who lived in my old neighborhood...My mother said, "Permillia may be 'black as tar' and 'ugly as sin'--but she has a 'heart of gold'--and that makes her beautiful"...I know that seems like a not so nice way to make a point to a child--but it did...

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

I can see you had a loving and wonderful mother and that she rasied a fine woman

jd anderson said...

It is so true about beauty in the eye of the beholder. My first love was, to everyone around, an unattractive man, and all my girlfriends made a point of letting me know whenever we got together. None of that mattered because to this day he is still the kindest and most gentlemanly men i have ever known. He possessed character, integrity, and a loving heart. These are key elements associated with beauty

Girly_Girl said...

I always think it's funny and cool how someone gets to be prettier or more handsome once I get to know them better.

Mizrepresent said...

Nice post, and yes i agree with all, that the beauty that is found, and lies waiting to be exposed, the most precious, that rules our minds, and nourishes our souls, lies in the heart.

CapCity said...

I agree with all that has been said. I also think the flip side of what GG said is funny: ever gone out with/dated a person who you thought was EXTREMELY attractive then u get to see their "true ugliness" & for the life of you everytime you look at them you seriously wonder WHAT was so attractive about them?

Yea, life is funny.

It's also funny to be inside this shell that is considered attractive and "watch"/experience the reactions that people have. The funniest to me is ALWAYS: You are NOTHING like I thought you'd be when I first saw you:-)...

Great Post & I'm glad u asked the question that required the audience to think a bit more than the preparer seemed to have intended;-)

Anonymous said...

thanks ladies u know im at war, i ned a little help thats all-RDB

`NEFTY said...

It's beautiful to see people on the inside rather than the outside. That's a good thing to learn/have.

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