This past weekend one was one of introspection, silence and revelation. Perhaps it was the snow – keeping me in, or the words of friends who directed me inwards, towards myself. Who knows. Many things revealed, learned, discovered and remembered … among them the fact that there is a ‘poem’ I have been meaning to share, and until now had not yet done.

The poem below was written by the late Audrey Hepburn when asked to share her beauty tips. I had the pleasure and honour of meeting Ms Hepburn, when she visited Ecuador as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. For four days (if memory serves me) I accompanied her on visits to rural villages, meetings with Ministers, NGOs, translated for her during an impromptu media conference etc. She was grace, beauty – honesty. Her story, remarkable as it was, a mere element of the person she would become, the achievements she would make in her life – as an artist, as a woman.

The poem is one I have taped to my desk – and read everyday. I was inspired by the eloquent words and wisdom of a friend this weekend who is always sharing, to share this one as well. May we, in the spirit of the season we are approaching keep these words and thoughts behind them in mind – and may we all contribute to a world in which beauty is indeed defined in Ms Hepburn’s words.

“For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.  For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.  For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone. People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.  As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others. “