Beauty Is Participatory. To Be Part of It Is to Be Vibrantly Alive

    Beauty is participatory. We can choose what to look at: the sky or the ground. We are not passive. We have agency in the world. We can decide what we want to focus on, where we decide to place our valuable attention. We can also decide how we want to express beauty in the world. The power to create is within each of us. It is part of being human. I have been thinking a lot about beauty and creativity lately, and how important they are for longevity.

    photo David Harry Stewart

    There is big-time creation, the Leonardo Sistine Chapel variety. There is also the decision of how we will decorate the cake today, what shoes we will wear, if we’ll plant some flowers, do our makeup for an outing, mow the lawn in verticals or horizontals to look best. These decisions are not just for our own satisfaction, they are gifts we give to those around us. It is all about caring: for ourselves and the people around us.

    To create in acts large and small is to connect to our vitality. Think of the opposite, the total ceasing of all creating; that sure doesn’t look very healthy to me. As I wrote last week, I grew up in a small rural town with a single mom. But there was a library. We did not have much spare money. My mom would go to the library and we could borrow records to listen to, or copies of famous art to have in the house for a while. Attention to beauty is not limited by resources, it is only limited by desire and imagination.

    photo David Harry Stewart

    I find these small touches of attention to beauty to be the most impactful. Sure, if I had billions, wouldn’t it be nice to make a museum? In fact, I would say it would be an obligation to do something similar if one were in those circumstances. But it is the beauty that people put into the small efforts that I find most touching. The way a table is set, the special hat worn only on Easter, the man who spends his Sunday polishing his ’68 Camaro. These are signs of an electric attachment to life, and to the joy it brings.

    photo David Harry Stewart

    I find that I rise to the level of the people I surround myself with. When I am around creative, vital, positive people, it rubs off on me. It’s something I forget, something I would like to deny, but I am not self-propelled. All of you help me to raise my level and to raise my gaze to the beauty in the world.
    David Stewart
    David Stewart
    David is the founder and face of AGEIST. He is an expert on, and a passionate champion of the emerging global over-50 lifestyle. A dynamic speaker, he is available for panels, keynotes and informational talks at david@agei.st.

    More Stories

    Kim Marshall, 62: Multi-Generational PR

    We met Kim last fall while speaking at The Global Wellness Summit in Singapore and were fascinated by this humble, direct Midwesterner who is...

    Being Lazy? That’s Good! The Rationale for Doing Nothing

    By Bija BennettDo you think that you’re being lazy when you’re not doing something? Or wasting time when you’re simply just being there? Chances are...

    CIRKEL Love and Sex

    Valentine's Day is coming up and CIRKEL is having an intergenerational mentor event around the world's oldest topic, Sex and Love, on Feb 6....

    Leaving the Corporate Ladder

    Jonathan Haisman, 52, living in Providence RI, recently decided to get off the corporate ladder and help start a company that is all about...

    5 Ways to Strengthen the Gut-Brain Connection and Boost Your Brain Power

    You would have to have been walled off from the world recently, meditating in a cave or exploring deep in the Amazon jungles, not...

    LATEST Profiles

    Kim Marshall, 62: Multi-Generational PR

    We met Kim last fall while speaking at The Global Wellness Summit in Singapore and were fascinated by this humble, direct Midwesterner who is...

    Dr. Bella McCloud, 59: Upward Life Trajectory

    When, two years ago, we last spoke with Bella, she was deep in the long process of getting her Ph.D. in clinical psychology. Then...

    Joe La Fontaine, 59: Flying High

    Joe La Fontaine, 59, lives the high life, as in the really really high life, flying at 40,000 ft, captaining the world’s largest commercial...