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Beauty and the Beholder

The essence of man lies in one's individuality and perception alone. Thus it is said, "Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder." What we often forget is that beauty is not only visual. It isn't just about looks or the mere physical features endowed upon every living thing around us by God's mighty hand. Beauty is the all-encompassing blend of one’s senses, which hits so hard (when it does) that you are left dumbfounded. "That is beautiful!" you gasp under your breath. I, for one, worship beauty. It is sacred. It is a staunch reminder of the fact that there is still substance and something of value left in our ugly world. Now, that is beautiful. Beauty is truly everything that has ever lived on this planet and all that ever will be, for all of us share this common feature of being what we are and what we can be. For all of us share that knowledge of right and wrong, yet we are not always right. There is a flaw — and that is beautiful. A lot of us think of beauty and immediately imagine women; we imagine flawless skin, perfect assets, and attractive hair. We forget, however, that beauty is not so lowly and constricted. Beauty has no boundaries. For beauty is the ultimate statement of love and devotion. It is the control of the divine-human heart over the human body. When we do rise above such mediocrity, we, in an assiduous manner, realise that beauty resides not only in the shape of the body but also in the shape of the mind. Not only in the face but also in the countenance. And, so, we acquire the skill to judge character and sooner or later ascertain for ourselves that all good-looking people are not of the same ilk. As Francis Quarler puts it, "If virtue accompanies beauty, it is the heart’s paradise; if vice be associated with it, it is the soul’s purgatory. It is the wise man’s bonfire and the fool’s furnace." We learn to see beauty in the perfect cup of coffee and the flawless song of a thrush. We perceive beauty in the lush green scenery of the world that lies beyond and in all that we usually take for granted. We sense beauty in music, in art, in novels, and in the words of great women. What each and every one of us might choose to consider beautiful might differ, yet we are all left dumbfounded just the same by the beauty throughout. Nothing is beautiful from every point of view, yet we should never lose an opportunity to appreciate anything that is beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting—a wayside sacrament. Beauty is sacred. It is divine.

Starry Night by Leonardo da Vinci

"Beauty is worse than wine; it intoxicates both the holder and the beholder.” - Zimmerman


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