On the pandemic and post-Cop27 subject of putting the case for positive behavioural change, here’s a short article about a vital component of the fourth step to changing things (change step#1 see a problem #2 decide to resolve it #3 look for possible solutions #4 choose the most effective one).
You know those moments when you suddenly become aware of someone’s magical smile, or a breathtaking landscape? Something dawns deep inside, pulling you gently into a harmonious being-state — a feeling that is more or less short-lived. In that precise moment, you are linking your experiential definition of ‘beauty’ with a deeply remembered ideal.
What made Ancient Greece so special vis-à-vis other cultures, was its high notion of ‘Beauty.’ It innovated in every field of art/life, developing new styles and techniques to achieve ‘perfectness of balance.’ That ideal has influenced art, philosophy and people’s joy for life ever since. Holistic living[mfn]holism is the theory that parts of a whole are in intimate interconnection, such that they cannot exist independently of the whole, or cannot be understood without reference to the whole, which is thus regarded as greater than the sum of its parts.[/mfn] too demands a beautiful, harmonious balance in order to be truly ‘successful.’ The better we understand our life’s interrelations, the stronger our natural urge to redress the imbalances that come to light. Alas, when we choose — for whatever reason — not to rebalance, we feel like !
Re-valuing the role of beauty is urgent and important in today’s world. “Mosaic artist Marko Ivan Rupnik has argued convincingly through his work In the Fire of the Burning Bush: An Initiation to the Spiritual Life that the vocation to beauty and [a spiritually infused life in the ‘new-normal’] go hand in hand. Such beauty is never sanitised or precious. Beauty is the irruption of an unforeseen reality that beckons a call to a new way of life. Beauty penetrates the core of a person and unifies the forces of creative energy that, once harnessed, allow us to successfully face the harsh realities of life”[mfn]source: Peter Casarella [/mfn] with peace, joy and goodwill to all people.
According to Jacqueline Hill, author of the following article (2.5min read), preconceiving a beautiful (re)solution to a need/challenge and the ensuing new balance, will really make our change-activity that much easier! And it will harvest unimaginable rewards for the world around us too.
The ancient Greeks believed that beauty consisted of three major components: symmetry, proportion, and harmony. Why not decide to find such beautiful resolutions for our personal carbon, food, energy and neighbourhood challenges?
PET associates, its affordable Housing, Carbon Strategy and Caring Community diVisions already do put beauty into their CARE in action. Look at their results! And hey: the more beauty, the merrier!
Have a blessed advent enlightening (y)our world. And wishing you a peace&joyful St. Andrew’s day on the 30th.[mfn]Also in so that returns within its own internationally recognised borders and repairs the damage it has caused.[/mfn]