When I was an undergraduate student, to make a few extra bucks, I worked in two research labs: one that used mice as experimental animals and another that utilized rats. We were always joking that the lab professors in charge took on an uncanny resemblance to the rodents they experimented on? Truly the similarity was unmistakable for both.
As a student of 68 years of life, I have witnessed humans travelling life’s journey and its inevitable physical transformation. No matter what good looks from good genes and God are bestowed to one in youth, no one can escape the effect of time. To me, its eerie how often ones life experiences are shown naked on your face - transforming it to reveal the sum of these experiences, your highs, your lows, your loves, your hates, who you are and who you are not, the time you spend happy and the time you spend sad, angry, overwhelmed or just helpless or hapless.
It is not overnight but rather like the ocean, which slowly but methodically smoothens the rough surfaces of the seashore. But instead of smoothing over rough edges and sharp protrusions, human life and living creates scars, etches creases, weathers and hardens skin, and fissures flow like tributaries from life’s indelible brandings.
Indeed for better or worse, life methodically and relentlessly drains, thins, weakens and drags one’s most exposed and vulnerable surface from the trillion repetitive frowns, gasps, smiles, cries, laughs, writhes, squirms, grimaces, twitches and retractions - movements that taken together, represent the totality of ones living history as reflected from the standpoint of facial movement.
But there is no telling whether what is inside….the inside you….mirrors what is now exposed for the world to see. Does the real you reflect the past or can one reverse the angry and unhappy lines for one with a happier motif? Maybe life was harder in youth, and now its time to loosen up? Maybe the sins of the past have been forgiven, and a kinder, happier you is now ever-present. Maybe you were once privileged and lucky in life and now things have gotten ugly. Maybe you are one of the unlucky ones with cancer in later life and life itself has become a chore, painful, or alternately in others, a blessing to cherish every remaining day of their lives.
So you have an advantage when you want to get to know someone who has revealed their life in time through their face….you can discover their history. Young people have less history.
But still, you can never be sure that what you see in its outward manifestation reflects what is currently inside…..and that is true whether you are young or old, whether you skin is weathered or pristine, whether you mother is a saint or a scoundrel, whether you are a peasant or a prince.