What’s in a wrinkle? It depends on who you ask. Our culture sees the lines of aging skin as something to regret, having replaced the smooth vibrancy of a younger face. Cosmetics companies reinforce that regret with every promise and product possible to delay the inevitable.
To be sure, our appearance breaks down over long years, and the process can be discouraging to all of us. But a second look is worth taking. Lines and wrinkles express things deeper than just the effects of age:
- They reflect the cares of a lifetime, borne by many with perseverance and fortitude.
- They reflect kindness, etched over the years through countless generous smiles.
- They reflect the labor of deep thought – over anything from learning to resolving difficulties to the simple navigation of life.
- For many, they reflect the act of prayer, formed through closed eyes and gathered brow.
In short, there’s a special kind of beauty in the faces of those marked by age - a beauty unappreciated in a culture obsessed with youth and appearances.
Of course, wrinkles in and of themselves are no virtue. What gives them character is whether they’re matched with a soul marked by truth, beauty and charity. As Victor Hugo said, “When grace is joined with wrinkles…there is an unspeakable dawn in happy old age.” Or as President James Garfield said, “If wrinkles must be written on our brows, let them not be written upon the heart.”
We won’t hear this from the purveyors of Nerium or other skin care purveyors. But it’s a truth I trust we can be encouraged with.
Lawrence B. Knowles, Jr., President