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Success Through Enthusiasm Rather Than Surgery By John Watson

"Enthusiasm is worth any pot of cream ever offered."

Can you be a President or a Prime Minister if you are bald? Many political advisers suggest that a Presidential or Prime Ministerial candidate should have plenty of hair and an attractive, youthful image. They see image as a very important part of success.

Bill Clinton has plenty of hair. So do George Bush and Tony Blair. How important is a young and attractive image for success?

Recently, there was a discussion in a TV program about the value of cosmetic surgery. One speaker, Anna Raeburn (the broadcaster and journalist) commented that:

"Age is like the weather; you can't do much about it and need to make friends with it. I cannot see myself choosing to have a knife in my face. I would prefer to work at my diet and so on. I'm 60 and I prefer to focus on more important things."

She added later: "I refuse to disappear because of my birthday. I do not need to compete with younger people."

Anna believes, like her mother, that the secret to looking good is enthusiasm not cosmetic surgery:

"My mother used to say: 'Enthusiasm is worth any pot of cream ever offered.'"

However, an increasing number of people are turning to cosmetic surgery.

Some have been called names like 'big lips' because their lips were abnormally big. Surgery can mean freedom from verbal abuse for people like them.

Others are not happy with themselves even though others do not notice. It matters to them what they think of themselves.

Natalie Turner, a model and presenter, had a bump removed from her nose. She also had breast enlargement. The surgery increased her confidence.

She believes that God gave us brains to decide what to do about our own bodies.

The emails into the program also had mixed viewpoints:

-Every one should go for it because it makes you feel wonderful.

-People who have plastic surgery are deluding themselves. Grow old gracefully.

-People are too obsessed with their bodies. They are trying to become perfect in an imperfect world.

My personal preference would be for enthusiasm without the surgery. I have attended several martial arts seminars where some instructors looked like true martial artists i.e. slim, fit and muscular. Others looked unfit and even overweight. Once they started speaking and instructing, I no longer cared what they looked like.

Some of the most overweight and ordinary looking turned out to be full of enthusiasm for what they were teaching. They were brilliant instructors and that was all that really mattered. I won't mention their names as it might be safer not to insult their looks!

In the world of politics, Eisenhower was a great President and he did not have much hair. Atlee was one of the greatest British Prime Ministers and he was practically bald. Churchill was no male model.

Obviously, it would be good to have enthusiasm and good looks but, given a choice, I would take enthusiasm every time. The spirit within is far more important than the shape without.

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