“Appreciate beauty to become beauty itself” – Sri Chinmoy
I was struck by this aphorism. Simple yet full of significance. To appreciate goodness and beauty is to make it part of ourself.
There is much beauty in the world, but we can lose sight of this – becoming instead caught by the problems, darkness and fears of the world. But, the existence of difficult times makes it even more important to celebrate the good and beautiful.
To a large extent, the cynic and critic fall to a similar level as those who they are criticising. However, if we spend our time in valuing the beautiful and illumining, our focus and concentration will help make it part of ourselves.
The concept of appreciating beauty can easily be extended to other similar qualities. In particular, recognizing the good qualities of others will help us to strengthen these qualities in ourself.
For example, if we meet someone who has excellent capacities, we can react in two ways. We can become secretly jealous and try to put them down. Or we can appreciate their good qualities. When we value their good qualities, like a magnet, we draw these qualities into ourself.
Appreciation doesn’t have to be outer; it may often not be appropriate. But, to recognise the good qualities of others requires a sincere humility and openness; and it remains a powerful way to help to transform our nature.
What we focus on, we make part of ourselves.