What is Kalon?
Kalon is a Greek word deriving from kalos meaning good, beautiful. The Greek definition of Kalon is the ideal of physical and moral beauty. Kalon suggests that beauty is not just defined by our outer appearance and its value is worth far more than the depth of our skin.
Imagine a bright red delicious apple that looks so good to the eye on the outside, but upon biting into it is found to be mushy and rotten. A good apple is both pleasing to the eye and delicious to eat. The experience of enjoying and appreciating a good apple involves far more than the appearance of exterior beauty. The sound of the crisp "crack" as one bites down signals this will certainly be a good apple along with its fresh and sweet smell that heightens your senses. The tart and tasty juices kiss your lips as your mouth chomps into the fruit. It is this inner beauty, the very core and essence of Kalon, that we want to explore further.
It can be easy to get caught up in maintaining or improving our physical appearance and to get distracted by superficial things like: how young our skin looks, keeping the color in our hair, exercising in hopes of keeping up a certain body shape or wearing the latest fashion trends. However, just like an apple, our beauty is a far richer experience than just how we appear on the outside. Our outward beauty is enhanced by the beauty within us and not the other way around. A consistently attractive but gross tasting batch of apples will always be discarded, while an astoundingly delicious batch with slight cosmetic flaws will be devoured. So what makes up our inner or moral beauty and how can we enhance this beauty?
In addition to things like our mannerisms, personality, sense of humor and unique perspectives for how we look at life, our moral beauty is made up of just that, our morals. Morals are not just a collection of our values and beliefs. It is also an expression of our true inner nature. This means to enhance our Kalon, it is important to develop good character traits and nurture them to be evident in our behaviors and outward expressions.
This week's word is connected to one of our 9-Virtues, the virtue of being FAIR. The Greeks understood that true beauty is evidenced in both proportion and equality, consistent goodness through and through ---- a fair beauty. Some of our character lessons for being fair include: dignity, forgiveness, generosity, patience, peacefulness, and being slow to judge. Taking time to focus more on these traits, we will surely allow our inner beauty to shine through.
Kalon is a Greek word meaning ideal physical and moral beauty. This sort of beauty is more than skin deep. Though it is important to take care of our physical bodies and work to preserve them as best we can, it is perhaps much more important to nurture our inner core. By enhancing our moral beauty through cultivating good character traits in our core, our Kalon will be evident.
Make a conscious effort this week to look deeper than what the eye perceives as beauty in those around you. Seek to discover their core essence and affirm what beauty you find in them. Perhaps a new and unexpected friendship awaits, simply because you gave yourself to experience their Kalon and took time share yours with them, too.
Continuing the Conversation:
Recognizing and enhancing Kalon in yourself and others doesn’t have to stop here.
Think of a time someone was fair and generous with you. What feelings did that ignite in you?
Put together a short list of personal compliments you can display in your room, car, or workplace that affirms your Kalon and those dear to you, too.