Reflections

Are We Programmed to Identify Beauty?

I saw Josh Groban in concert last week. Yes, I know some people think he’s a poser or whatever else, but I like him, so I went. It was a more intimate setting than when I heard him many moons ago in an arena–this time, he performed in a warm theater, surrounded by chandeliers, velvet curtains, and oriental rugs. The lights dimmed, the music started, and my relaxed mind started to wander and consider why we are so attracted to this perception of beauty.

Does the grand piano and wooden paneling signify a “nod” to the past? A nostalgic feeling of a by-gone era of yesterday that, even though my generation has never experienced in person, we have soaked up from our grandparents’ stories and filled in with our imaginations? A romanticized feeling that will diminish when my peers and I are unable to fill in the blanks for our children?

Photo by Cliff Johnson, Creative Commons
Photo by Cliff Johnson, Creative Commons

Or are the elements of classical music and beautiful clothes something we have learned from movies or history class? We have been introduced to descriptions of “classy” and “elegance” from watching Downton Abbey or Titanic and our brains feel more at ease when we can identify similar aspects in our own everyday lives, even though our personal environments look nothing like them.

Or are we programmed to identify and then appreciate beauty? Bold colors, crafted instruments, and ornate details have been around for the entirety of human history, signifying royalty, wealth, and desirability. We may assume these displays are elements of greed or selfishness, but God gives us a different idea with his detailed, crafted, and expensive version of a holy house.

Photo by Jez Timms, Creative Commons
Photo by Jez Timms, Creative Commons

I don’t think it’s wrong to enjoy nice things. In fact, I think God originated nice things and wants us to have them and it’s humanity’s problems that have led us to rob, burn, and destroy instead of crafting and creating and gifting and enjoying. I want to go back to the talent of a singer causing appreciation instead of sarcasm, the skills of a painter inspiring others instead of creating controversy, and the talent of a carpet marker adding timeless elegance to my home so I can share and celebrate with others.

Classical singers, like Josh Groban, may eventually become a faded picture of beauty, but the gifts of music, elegance, and bringing people together that they remind us of are eternal.

Lindsay Sig

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19 comments on “Are We Programmed to Identify Beauty?

  1. Beautiful post. And I love Josh Groban!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Very lovely! As our Father, I’m sure that God does want us to enjoy nice things — sometimes we just don’t know how to appreciate what He gives us. I love that photo of the lamp and the books, by the way πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh Lindsay, so good! No joke, many times I like to drink my hot tea out of one of my many china cups, just for the fun and beauty of it! I remember hearing Prince Charles (who is an archetect by education) bemoaning the difference between the modern buildings and the beautiful and securely made ones that have lasted hundreds of years. God is into beauty, and doesn’t it please Him when we celebrate that with Him?

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Love this post! Sounds lovely and elegant

    Like

  5. Self-professed Josh Groban fan from way back! I love how you asked questions and didn’t go out of the way to answer them. Very thought-provoking piece. I very much enjoyed it.

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  6. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, how can we know anything has intrinsic beauty?

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  7. Thank you….the last paragraph really sums it up great. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I absolutely agree with you, there’s so much beauty in the world and so many making such an effort to destroy it, it’s the ugly truth isn’t it?

    Like

  9. Hi Lindsay, Thank you so much for visiting and liking me at Engaging. I so agree with you about Beauty, and believe that one way in which we give back to Spirit is through appreciation of the Beauty all around us! I look forward to following you…with warmest Aloha, Sabrina

    Like

  10. De alguna manera, las gemas libres son mΓ‘s atractivo y seductor que la compra de joyas.

    Liked by 1 person

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