I'm currently reading Little Bee by Chris Cleave. It is the story of two women from altogether different life experiences, one a young girl from Nigeria, the other a married woman in England. Their lives once touched and some years later their life paths cross again. Little Bee is the name of the character from Nigeria. Her life in Nigeria - and flight from there - was marked by horror. Her mother, father and sister were killed there. On page 8 of the book Little Bee observes another young girl: "She was wearing a purple dress, an A-line dress with pink stars and moons in the pattern... On the girl's brown legs there were many small white scars. I was thinking, Do those scars cover the whole of you, like the stars and the moons on your dress? I thought that would be pretty too, and I ask you right here please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived."
It seems so clear when I read this that scars are not anything to be ashamed of, not something we should work to hide - they are instead, symbols of survival. Throughout our lives we have heard in one form or another, by one friend or family member or another that we can shift what we see by how we see. I think Little Bee has it right.