Thirdeyemom

What is Beauty?

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it”. – Confucius

What is beauty?  Is it something you see, you feel or you touch?  Is it a landscape, a work of art, the sing-song of the morning birds, a violin concerto or the precious face of a newborn child?

Tour de la Vanoise France

Beauty is everywhere. It is something we see, we feel, we touch, we smell, we taste and we hear. Although beauty is defined differently by each and every one of us, there is some universality of beauty and we desire it for beauty brings us joy, inspiration and hope. It can even be argued that beauty is essential for human survival.

Listening to an inspiring TED talk on “What is Beauty” made me really think about this profound question. Why is it that we crave beauty? What does beauty mean to each person and how does it differ? And, most of all, what does beauty mean to me?

Simple. Beauty brings us pleasure and happiness. It makes us smile and feel good. Even when we are faced with rough waters, beauty has a way of surprising us and bringing us out of darkness and into the light.

To me, beauty is nature.

Condoriri Valley, Bolivia

Beauty is a sunset painting the sky

Sunset on Mount Kilimanjaro

Beauty is a heartwarming smile

Kilimanjaro Orphanage Moshi Tanzania

Beauty is life

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I often wonder about why we find certain things beautiful when others do not. Is it the story behind an experience or an object that makes it more beautiful to the eyes of the beholder?

For instance, I find these photographs beautiful.

Peering in through the door at the girls meditating at Protsahan, a non-profit organization in India that helps girls suffering from abuse and poverty heal through the arts.

New Delhi India

Photographing these children in an unauthorized slum in Delhi, India.

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The view from my bedroom window that is covered in a million diamonds of frost during an extremely cold winter day.

frost on windows

The unexpected surprise at finding rose petals in the snow.

Rose Petals on the snow

The feeling of warmth and love I receive when watching my children.

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What does beauty mean to you? And more importantly, how does it make you feel?

This post was inspired by TED Radio Hour talk “What is Beauty”. To listen to the podcast, click here. 

38 comments

  1. These are some incredible photos showing the beauty around the world ~ and most importantly the diversity of beauty out there to be seen and enjoyed by us all. A Daoist sage once said, even when seeing beauty’s cousin “ugliness”, there is still beauty there to be discovered. Wonderful post.

    • Oh Alison I love your comment. Life is so much better when we stop to marvel at all the beauty in the world. I just bought a bouquet of colorful flowers to place in the house.

    • Thank you! Hope it made you think of beauty and look at it in a new way. Nature is my favorite beauty of all yet my children also warm me with beauty too.

    • This is a beautiful comment! Yes beauty is so invigorating that it makes you feel alive. I like also the thought of feeling safe and holy. Nice touch and give me something more to explore and think about.

  2. TED Talks are a nice way to get some “quick” information about current topics. Your entire post was full of beauty from different points of view. Well done. Happy days ahead in the New Year.

    • I love listening to podcasts when I am walking around the lake. I love TED talks but also enjoying On Being and Radio Lab. I think it is because I love to learn and also get my brain thinking about things I don’t normally ponder. This topic was so fascinating to me. Thanks for your comment Sally!

  3. Definitely so much beauty in your photography Nicole. As the saying goes, ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. I believe we need to open our eyes to see the miracles of the small or usual things , that these too can be beautiful.

  4. Pingback: Things They Can’t Say

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