Life

The worth of beauty

I’ve noticed that we bond over beauty. Sometimes it’s the beauty of the road when you leave one place for another, the beauty of a shared moment. Sometimes it’s a simple touch and the knowledge that togetherness is beautiful. Art draws us toward one another simply because we witness it in community. This is why we jump with the joy of discovery when another expresses love for the music we adore. Why a good film makes us want to love each other better, why it causes us to seek. The words we read in books connect us more deeply to ourselves, to the author and to everyone else who has ever read the same words.

Art unites us; the passion it ignites cements us to one another in a vast web. It stirs up the knowledge that beauty belongs to us so organically because it’s the nature of our world—it makes us human. We don’t all use the same media but we all create. There’s no universal standard of affection for art but we all have a taste for beauty.

I think this says something about our world. There’s no formula to explain why dancers cry when they watch each other perform, or what makes us feel close to people who resonate with the same art that touches us. It seems to tell us that the earth we live in and the souls we interact with are not simply utilitarian—they’re extravagant. Loveliness is natural and we crave it. Splendor has worth in and of itself because it lets us know what kind of beings we are, and the nature of this place that, for now, is our home.

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