To appreciate beauty…

“to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden, a redeemed social condition”

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden, a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is beauty in everything, but humankind has been propagandized to believe that beauty must by one thing.

However, no matter what a person wears, no matter where you are on the earth, no matter what the weather is doing, and no matter whether a person is short or tall or big or small, there is beauty in all things—people, places and events.

Instead of looking for what is wrong with someone, something, or someplace, look for the good. Rather than profess negative criticism of everything and everyone, look for something good.

An example: When checking in or out of a hotel, a grocery store, in a taxi, or in Walmart – any place of business – the clerk often asks how you are and John and I always return the gracious greeting by asking how they are doing.

The person will look up with shock and say, “Thank you so much, not many people ask that.” We always feel that the way a person treats service people shows a lot about their depth of character. Find the best in others and acknowledge that. The nicer you are to others, the nicer they will be to you.

The last part of this line from Emerson commissions us to to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden, a redeemed social condition;

Most people have an inner drive to make a difference, to leave a legacy through their work and/or their family. Here, he speaks of that difference being made through a healthy child. What a blessing when a child is born healthy and haven’t we all been blessed to know parents and grandparents who have worked with and loved a child who has challenges but is as healthy as they can possible be through the love that is shared with them daily. As the parents see the beauty of their child, the child reflects that love. Endearing!!

A garden!!! Is there anything that connects a person to the remarkableness and miraculousness of the earth any more than working in the earth, planting and nurturing a garden? Watching it grow, develop, and bear fruit? I love canning the veggies and fruits from our garden and orchard. We are able to eat this organic food all year long. I love the creative process of gardening and canning. And I love to share the harvest with family and friends. Go to the earth for solice. Watch the sunrise and/or sunset. Watch to stars and the moon. Walk through the grass barefoot. Notice the beauty of the sounds of the earth—the buzz of the insects, the chirps and songs of the various birds, the howl of the coyotes at night or the cicadas at night. God’s music.

And redeem a social condition? In your work, your schools, your churches, your professions, participate in organizations that are doing good work to make the world a better place. There are so many areas of the world where a social condition is unacceptable and you and I can make a difference. We can give time, money, companionship, food, our participation and guidance. There are good organizations who need you. You are busy. You have work to do. You have a family to care for. You need to work out each day. But, there can be time carved out of your week or month for giving. Listen to your own spirit and find what means the most to you—and commit to giving. It is in the giving that you receive. Include your kids in some of these activities. Lead your children. Let them see that giving back to society and making a difference in a social condition that needs your help can be a fulfilling and important part of a complete life.

In each and every encounter, take your judgment and throw it out. Rather, look for the beauty. Your grace will improve the day.