I suppose if we’re going to discuss beauty, it’d be important to be sure we’re all talking about the same thing. Definitions are slippery things…especially when you’re arguing that the thing you’re defining is of life and death importance, which we’ll get to next week.
Let’s start easy. I think most of us can agree on the first aspect.
The world is full of examples of classic beauty—those things we take in with our five senses. I’m sure your list my vary from mine, but we all can agree that there’s beauty in here.
Sight—a beam of sunshine on the carpet, moon shimmering silver on fresh snow
Taste—pecan pie, buttery mashed potatoes, green curry (this is seriously one of my kids’ favorite meals. I don’t argue. I just enjoy.)
Feel—warmth, soft blankets, comfy pants
Sound—Music, birds, fine music (however you define that!)
Smell—Warm applesauce, baking bread
While our opinions might vary slightly, there are things we can all agree are good…even if someone else is the one appreciating it.
“Flowers…are a proud assertion that
a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world.”
~Ralph Waldo EmersonTweet This
Then there are the more slippery things that we all can probably still agree are beautiful. Things like:
Love—We’re not talking fly-by-night stuff, this is the enduring love is a verb kind of stuff.
Friendship—The abiding kind that lasts through forgives and fortitude.
Kindness—When someone chooses good things for me.
Hope—The light at the end of the tunnel that gets us through the tough times.
You might struggle to define these intangibles, but these are the things we can all agree make life, in general, good.
“Think of all the beauty
still left around you and be happy.”
~Anne FrankTweet This
And this is where the definition goes from a little hard to explain to a downhill slide of hopelessness. I’m fairly sure words can’t adequately describe this strange thing. So I’ll camp there in a few weeks. (check here for this post) You’ll have to take my word that beautiful ugly—a misshapen, slightly odd thing not only exists, but makes life livable. We’ll get there. Promise.
In the meantime, lets agree to define beauty as something that makes life worthwhile.
How about you? How would you define beauty?