Beauty as a Virtue

In the post-modern world there is lack of appreciation for beauty. It has been replaced by profane kitsch and self expression. This is evidenced in art, music, architecture, public design, living spaces, fashion and others. We have accepted cheap faux imitations and say it is as good as the real thing. Everything is a lesser version or ideal of once was, when beauty was something to aspire to. A lot of folks no longer strive for beauty in their lives, but also fail to be inspired by it. Beauty can strike awe, but like most good things it is frequently gentle and subtle; requiring a cultivation of appreciation, and refining taste. It is a sign of maturity and wisdom.

I think it is important to seek and appreciate beauty on daily basis. A few times a year, I cry overwhelmed by just how beautiful something is. Beauty is easy to find in nature; in people it often comes in the form of grace, authenticity, and self mastery. Watch how these rare people move and conduct themselves, it’s beautiful. I love movement, dance, physicality, and the human form, it’s a shame to see it so degraded.

It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but that would mean it is deniable. It’s not, most of us can come to a consensus when looking at Sequoia Tree, the statue of David, a technicolor sunset, and a million other examples. Beauty is remarkably true. However, like most truths it requires an appreciation and the journey of self discovery. Seeking beauty and developing an appreciation for it can change your life. Once you begin to consciously seek it, it becomes a part of your feedback loop, and who doesn’t need more beauty in their life, really? I live with a tragic view of life, it is my baseline; death, ugliness, and horribleness abound. These in turn incite feelings of fear, rage, and anxiety. If, or once, this is accepted then entirely new appreciations form and gratitude becomes easy. Less time is wasted on the crass, profane, and the superficial which are really just junk food for the soul. I make the conscious choice to seek and be in the presence of beauty everyday.

Beauty has a way of softening the heart and making life fulfilling. Just thinking about all the beauty I have seen fills me with giddiness. I put this idea out there for the reader to consider what they value most. For me it is beauty, truth, and honour among men.

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