Guest Post by Elise Fee
“It’s not true that what is useful is beautiful. It is what is beautiful that is useful. Beauty can improve people’s way of life and thinking.” (Anna Castelli Ferrieri)
Imagine driving through an old coal town that has never recovered fully from the depression. It’s winter. The air is frigid. The trees are bare. The hills are gray and damaged from decades of strip mining. You see random displays of yard art, belated holiday decorations, and more than a few rusted out cars and trucks in various stages of decay. You hear barking from neighborhood dogs tied out on chains in their bare dirt circles.
Now imagine driving through a quaint seaside town. It’s winter and cold. The trees are bare, but in the downtown area there are white lights wrapped around the trees that line the main street. You see the waves lapping against the sea wall. Throughout the town, you notice how well-maintained the homes are and how neat the yards are. You see outdoor art displays of sculpture, murals and pottery. There are charming shops, restaurants and professional offices that look inviting.
Clearly, the emotions we experience while driving through the second town are more positive than those experienced in the first town. Even though we haven’t met any of the people or experienced the culture of the area yet. It’s simply the difference in the beautyof the towns that makes us feel noticeably different.
Beauty is useful and creates positive experiences in us. Now that you are thinking about this, what might you do to add more beauty to your environment? Consider your home, work, car, your clothing, etc. And remember, that it is your definition of beauty that matters, so create an environment that thrills your senses, stimulates you, and brings you joy.
And if you don’t have much control over your environment at this time in your life, recognize that spending time out in nature’s beauty or around beautiful things (art, fashion, gardens, music, etc.) will buoy your emotions and make your life that much better. For indeed, beauty is more than just a pretty face; it has purpose.
Elise Fee is a writer, poet, life mentor, transformational coach and international speaker. Her varied life experiences have taught her broader more expansive ways to view and experience the world and humanity. Check out her blog Elise on Life.
Question: How do you define beauty? Is beauty an individual or universal ideal? Please post your comments below: