Sunday, April 10, 2011

Look for Beauty in Everything You Do

Even in the most run-down, beat-up, or turned-around places, people and things you can find beauty.

When I traveled to the Amalfi Coast this past weekend, it was easy to appreciate the beauty of such a breathtaking place. Capri is unlike anything I've ever seen in my life. Sorrento was full of art and crafts and lovely people. Pompeii was awe-inspiring with its ruins and artifacts. Mt. Vesuvius was in all of its glory on a beautiful, sunny, 75 degree weather day.

These kinds of things are obvious in their beauty. When you look at something like the cliffs of Capri, it's impossible not to catch your breath and take a photo in hopes of remembering its pure and magnificent beauty.

However, not everything is easy to look at and see beauty. Some things, when you look at them, are not what we would call "beautiful," "magnificent," "breathtaking," or "awe inspiring." But, despite not having beauty at face value, everything has beauty in its own way--and it takes looking at something twice, or beneath its surface, or at the inner meaning of the person, place or thing in order to really appreciate just how precious and beautiful he, she or it is.

For instance, there are hundreds of streets in Rome covered wall to wall in graffiti. When I first saw this, my reaction was one of aversion. I couldn't believe the amount of graffiti on the walls in a city that I had imagined being full of ancient ruins (which it is) and beautiful monuments (which it also is) and an endless amount of churches (which it also, also is...). However, it's also a city full of graffiti--and coming from Philadelphia, graffiti shouldn't come as a surprise to me--and yet, here, it did.

Over time, I've learned to discover the beauty within the graffiti covering the walls of this city. Because when it comes down to it, the graffiti is part of the culture here. Yes, it's illegal. Yes, it's destructive. Yes, it's a problem that needs to be addressed (in productive and not prohibitive ways, mind you). But it doesn't mean that it's ugly, necessarily. There is a lot of beauty in the graffiti in this city. There are messages and pictures and words--many political in their meanings--that are part of what Rome is as a city. People in this city place the graffiti on the walls for a reason--to express themselves--and there is beauty in that.

So, look for the beauty in the things that, at first, might not seem so beautiful. Look long and hard and deep for the beauty, because it's difficult to find... but when you do find it, you'll be pleasantly surprised.

What is something, somewhere or someone in which you've found beauty when you weren't expecting? What was it like finally seeing what you weren't expecting to see?


  1. Hayley, I just wrote about the same idea a few days ago. Its funny how two people on opposite sides of the world can have the same revelation days apart:

  2. It is funny, isn't it! Great minds think alike :-)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...