Blaise Pascal, a polymath of the 1600s, said even a genius needs beauty, noting, “In difficult times, carry something beautiful in your heart.”
Beauty is not easily defined. A vague entry into our soul that seems to encompass the human experience and can bring us to tears. Even in our most pressing global crises, beauty is not just relevant but necessary. Beauty ennobles the heart and we feel most alive in the presence of it.
St. Paul’s Children’s Program of Northern Ireland brought 40 years of beauty for impoverished, inner-city neighborhoods from Northern Ireland. Ireland has hundreds of years of an awful history of suffering. The hope was to transport hardened young children to a country where folks from all creeds welcomed them—opening a scarred soul to a beauty that is paradoxically always there, yet hidden.
The first time I heard Time to Say Goodbye by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli, I wept. I was blow-away with what I perceived as an aesthetic event that happened in my being.
Whether it’s a spiritual awakening, nature, a loved one, dreams, poetry or a good film, humans endure beauty even during bleakness. It’s the magnificence of beauty that can reach the soul to choreograph one’s destiny.
Margaret Wachholz is the campus marketing director at Woodbury Senior Living. In her column, she shares observations and wisdom about aging and senior living in Woodbury. Find more at woodburyseniorliving.com.