Hello and welcome readers to my little corner of the world.
Recently I watched a TED show on ‘what is beauty’? TED is a non-profit organisation devoted to ideas worth spreading. It started in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, and Design. Now it’s medium is the internet where great ideas get incredibly quick global exposure.
In the presentation I am referring to, designer Richard Seymour asked ‘how do we tell that something is beautiful?’ And ‘Why does it matter so much to us?’
To me it matters because mainstream media, in my opinion, shows us little that is beautiful but rather accentuates the ugly. This is rather worrying because if we agree with the saying ‘what you focus on is what you get’ then this focus disempowers us.
We have an interesting paradox. Evidently only bad news sells yet I assert that we all have a deep yearning to be nurtured and in touch with the beauty of life.
Scientist and author Steven Pinker of the new book Better Angels of Our Nature: The Decline of Violence in History and its Causes suggests that the human brain is changing. Evidently the parts of the brain related to stopping violence have become increasingly engaged.
Evidently the evolution of reasoning ability grew as humans started living in cities, reading literature and communicating and travelling long distance. Higher levels of education also assisted this evolution.
Let me give you an example of how our reasoning ability impacts our ability to value beauty. Richard Seymour showed a rather ordinary child’s drawing of a flower and a butterfly. My initial reaction was very bland. Then he said that this was the last action of Heidi, a five year old before she died of spinal cancer. And then I thought ‘Oh my, that is beautiful’.
Similarly Seymour showed a plastic bag. This to my mind was definitely not beautiful. Then he explained that the empty plastic bag could be placed in filthy water and by osmosis clean water would be filtered into the bag. Beautiful!!!
So what is beauty? To me it is a deep reaction from within my inner being, a feeling of love, warmth, gratitude with a desire to stop and dwell on that feeling.
So dear reader, where in your life can you see beauty? What would it be like for you if you sought out and dwelt on the beauty in the world?
Live! Love! Laugh!
Roz Townsend | www.roztownsend.com