What do you see— beautiful reality or haggard mortality?

Look at this familiar trick picture. You can see either a pretty girl or an evil-looking witch. Now that you've found them both, let's imagine that this is a photograph of a beautiful woman a young man intends to marry and he is showing her picture to his mother for the first time. But she sees only ugliness and feels great anguish. In despair she turns to friends for advice. A family friend recommends a visit to a beauty salon! A psychologist friend counsels her to learn to adapt to the situation. Her minister may advise her to pray.

Then the mother shows the photograph to a friend who knows the woman. He says, "Why, she's beautiful." And he traces the outline of her face until the mother sees the picture in true perspective.

Where does happiness come from?
May 1, 1978

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