Have you read the story about The Ugly Duckling?
It is written by one of the most prolific Danish writers, Hans Christian Andersen.
H.C. Andersen’s fairy tales always come with a moral lesson at the end. His literary prowess has inspired my growing up years, as with countless others I am sure. He is a genius in his craft.
I must thank my dad who got us the Britanicca Enclyopedias as children. We had an entire library of them.
Interestingly, The Ugly Duckling is said to be a true story.
The story is about a duckling whose looks differ from its other siblings.
Not only does it hatch later than the rest, but it also comes out looking dark, and with a black beak.
The mother duckling was protective of her newborn and said her prized child is special and unique when the pig proclaimed it, “The Ugly Duckling.”
One day, when the Mother Duck was not looking, the ugly duckling left the flock and ventured out on its own.
The animals that it met on its solitary journey said that they had never seen a duck that looks anything like it before.
Not being able to accept its difference, and thinking itself so ugly, it hid for many seasons in between reeds by a lake.
One day it peeks to see a beautiful swan swimming in the lake. Its exclamation of admiration, “how beautiful that big bird is,” was heard by the swan.
The swan swam to where the duckling hid and told the duckling that it was beautiful too. Then the swan asked the duckling to look at its reflection in the waters.
The duckling looked to see that over the seasons, while in hiding, it had grown into a beautiful swan, with white feathers and a bright orange beak just like the other swan.
It was ecstatic and joined the swan in the lake and mingled now with the most beautiful flock of birds. -end-
I cannot help but think about how we always want to equate ourselves with beauty and if we don’t measure up, it is a self-defeating notion that we indulge in.
I thought about this story and how wrong that duckling was in self-undermining itself.
Everyone has a unique purpose in life. If you are up against one another, then feelings of envy, and misjudgment take control of your thoughts. It can be detrimental to your personable self and make you erroneously think that you are inferior to the rest.
The ugly duckling is a great metaphor to think about our priorities in life. What matters is that we make a difference, and not indulge in differences.
Have a great week ahead.