May 20, 2014

Sign of Beauty?

Have you guys ever seen Life is Beautiful? I think that it's one of those classic films that everyone should eventually see since it makes such a powerful statement on happiness, self-sacrifice, and love. (I rarely recommend movies on this blog, so if you're reading this and haven't seen the film yet...there is my nomination for the next movie night!)

Anyhow, I'm thinking about Life is Beautiful this morning because I came across a quotation that I wanted to share with you guys:

I admire the few gifted people who manage to find the best in those around them, and often do my best to be like that. But, I would like to explore this thought a little further.

For instance, the protagonist of the film Life is Beautiful undoubtedly portrays remarkable inner beauty and a noble sense of character, but he isn't actively seeing beauty in others. He is only close to his small inner circle of friends and family. The sign of a beautiful person must then be broader.

People are beautiful if they have a genuine love for others in their hearts. 

Love is a complex thing. (Understatement of the century, right?) I mean, have you ever thought of love as an action? This is one idea that's been around philosophy for a while. Let me illustrate:

Let's say that Person W loves Person X. Every time W sees X, his/her heart starts swelling up with love, and s/he has this wonderful feeling in his/her heart. However, W constantly treats X with a tone of condescension, constantly ignores X's phone calls, and while they're together, W is often dismissive and in general fails to go out of his/her way to do nice things for X. Does W really love X then? Can W be said to be beautiful in her/his "love" for X?

Or, more plainly, if you love somebody but don't really do anything so that the other party knows that you love him/her, do you really love them significantly? 

I've mentioned agape in one of my posts before, but the most basic definition of the term is "pure self gift." One way I think of it is sort of a selfless version of love, one that puts all mankind before the self, or individual. 

So, yes. In order to show love to a person, there is a necessity to put some sort of value into her/him--to see his/her beauty. But, the beautiful person will take it further. The beautiful person not only feels love--the beautiful person does love.

Smile on,
-Riley XO

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