Once, after snapping out of being quite a horrid person to a girl I knew, she told me that, despite how nasty I had been, she felt secure in the fact that, deep down, I was a good person. I didn't felt like that, I was, and still am, deeply ashamed. I don't know what make me be that kind of person, what made me behave like a bully. I've no excuse for that except that being a teenager was one of my worst moments, that growing into an adult and into my character and body was a struggle of helplessness, of anger and that I clung to any kind of power I could muster as a way to fight the fact that I was drowning. I do not mistake this as an excuse, just a mere explanation of a mindset.
Now, I treasure her words, which must have cost her more than I could imagine, because they felt sincere, and I try to be as good a person as she thought I was. I'm still brash and direct and my filter sometimes disappears between my brain and my mouth, but I try to move around with that moral compass she was sure I had.
And when I see real gentleness and kindness I do my utmost to appreciate it as much as cleverness and intelligence. And that's why when I see my sister-in-law I see beauty. She's clever, smart, pretty and, more important than that, kind in a level that anyone should aspire to be. Her honesty and kindness glow from within.