The world is so full of beauty. There’s an abundance of things and places and people and animals who share their beauty with us each day—but sadly, our mundane worldly cares and conditioning has obliterated our sense and appreciation of true beauty. We have become so habituated to not recognize beauty any longer, not that we ever noticed it in the first place. So herein lies the problem with beauty. It has the immense potential to enrich and purify our lives, yet it can only do so if we recognize and appreciate it. So the problem with beauty lies not in the object or person, but in our lack of awareness, gratitude, and intuition.
How do we define beauty? There’s that old adage that says beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But is this really the case? We’ve all heard that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. For example, that one person may find beautiful another may find grotesque. The fact that I don’t see something as beautiful doesn’t mean that it lacks beauty. This is largely true in people. Society has redefined our definition of beauty. It teaches us that certain looks are more beautiful than others and this has become so ingrained in our consciousness that so often times it’s easy to miss the beauty in someone whose looks don’t match the societal “ideal”. In many ways this is a travesty because if we are unable to see the beauty in other people, who are, in fact, beautiful, then our lives are truly poor.
“think of all the beauty that
encircles you and you will be happy.”
Having an eye for beauty isn’t all that easy, though. There are so many people who do their best to hide their beauty, simply because they don’t think they’re beautiful at all. Their talents and abilities are buried beneath a sheath of shame and insecurity. They show the world their hardness and anger – a façade that is so often very difficult to see through. There are many young girls who are made to feel ugly who act and dress in unappealing ways; some young boys who don’t feel at all beautiful do their best to make themselves ugly either through their actions, their clothing, or their hygiene.
Beauty is not only something to behold. Beauty is a very important part of our world, and thus an important part of our lives. Beauty is something wonderful that we all share both in its possession and the enjoyment we get from it. If I can see beauty in your eyes, your smile, or your actions, my life is richer. If you can see mine, then your life is richer. If I hide my beauty, though, then I won’t be making your life at all any sweeter. There are some people whose beauty lies not in their looks, not in what they say, but simply in who they are and there is nothing in this world to hold something so pure, so divine except a loving heart and through this manner only does love truly recognize love.
“how could we forget those ancient myths
that stand at the edge of our consciousness,
the myths that frogs, at the last moment, are
transformed into princes? Perhaps all the
frogs in our lives are princes who are only
waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty
Superficial beauty has now become the new measure for true beauty. But this is not the case at all. Yes, the magnificent sunset is beautiful, but the less colorful sunsets have their subtle beauty too. The woods would be very silent if the only birds that sang were the ones who sang the best. There are trees that don’t appear to be nearly as beautiful as others, yet what they contribute to the planet is invaluable and, therefore, beautiful. It may be necessary that we train ourselves to look more closely at things to see the beauty in their intricacy, while other times we could be looking too closely and we should take a step back to see the beauty in the bigger picture.
The ability to appreciate beauty is a true gift. A gift that should not be squandered. But it is also a gift that should not be influenced by the superficial mores of our culture – we should not let other people define beauty for us. If we do so we have made our lives unduly poorer, for then, we’ve lost out on much beauty that remains unrecognized and unappreciated.
When recognizing beauty becomes ritual, it takes its place at the heart of our ability to see greatness in even the smallest of things. We are able to experience wonder and awe in our lives, two attributes that contribute much to a healthy and fulfilling life.