Today’s thought is on beauty.

I think a crucial part of the healthy experience is a healthy understanding of beauty, or rather, we can call it a healthy perception of beauty.

We are swayed, pressured and cajoled too often by media and the market around us to different standards of beauty.

Some eras they tell us it is better to be this, and other eras they tell us the opposite.

The only thing this should we really tell us, is that beauty is not objective, that it is as fragile and flimsy as the people who uphold it.

This does not involve just people, this involves many other things too: the colours we use, the way we build our cities, the packaging of our goods, the aesthetics in the art we create… all contribute to the greater dialogue of beauty in the world we live in.

A healthy perception of beauty means looking beyond the here and now, look to the past and see what beauty was then. Engage not just with the ears and the eyes, but with the heart and the mind. It also means contributing and engaging in the dialogue with what beauty will be in the future.

If we remain passive recipients of what beauty is, we will never be satisfied with what we are, because it will always differ from what the others think is beautiful.

But if I stand up and point to myself, and say “This is beautiful too, and this is why.”

If i can offer something of importance, because I have engaged with all my senses, with my intellect, and with my heart, then maybe it will be easier to accept that who I am is also beautiful, and my perception of myself will begin to grow robust and healthy, not crippled by self-doubt, self-loathing or fear.

Beauty on the roadside comes from beauty in the trees. If we keep looking at the petals on the ground and not up, we won’t understand in full.

I want to litter the road with beauty too, but to do so, I must flower first.

And I am learning to flower through writing my poetry.

How do you flower?

Posted by:jasmine

Jasmine is an editor, poet, and community arts organizer. She comes to poetry by way of Chinese music. This blog is a mapping of ways.

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