There is so much beauty in the world—and because this crazy, gorgeous life is so fleeting, I want to focus on the beauty.
No, I won’t turn my eyes away from the horrors of the world. But I also won’t become so consumed by these horrors that I no longer notice the wind dancing on the water. Or the tender grasp of my lover. Or the plant on the windowsill stretching toward the sunlight.
I’m not trying to downplay the crap. But I don’t want to crumple into a small, powerless mess each and every time I read the news.
Negativity sells. Sensationalism sells. But this is not reality.
Sure, man’s inhumanity to man is real. But generosity, kindness, humility and love is also real. And I still believe in humanity. Only a tiny bit of the present world can be summed up by violence and acts of terror. Only a tiny bit of human history can be summed up by wars and acts of cruelty.
I’m grateful for the traveling I’ve done, as it’s allowed me to see beyond the headlines. And in my travels, I’ve come to know one truth. The truth is that the vast majority of people on this planet just want to live happy, peaceful lives. That’s all.
This truth helps me to see the bigger picture.
This truth helps me to navigate through scary and lonely moments, when news headlines present a dismal outlook of the world. This truth helps me to remember what most people are actually doing right now:
People are conversing over dinner.
People are falling in love.
People are working.
People are dreaming.
People are making babies.
People are walking down the road.
People are waiting for the sun to come up.
People are watching the seasons change.
People are making stuff.
People are buying stuff.
People are praying.
This boring beauty defines most of the present moment, thank goodness.
I don’t want to ignore the inhumanity. But I don’t want to let the inhumanity get the best of me. I want to feel happy and hopeful enough to help the world in some way. And so, I try to open my heart and focus on the beauty. I’m not always successful—but hey, I’m trying.
My wide-eyed, open-hearted daughter has taught me to see this boring beauty, thank goodness. I watch her studying the sky with a furrowed, curious baby brow. She’s too young to talk. And so, I look up to see what she is looking at in such amazement.
I realize that she is wondering why the sky is a different texture than the trees, houses and cars that surround us. She sees, as I now see, that the sky is of a unique dimension entirely. This infinity of blue is translucent, vast and so freaking beautiful.
I’m amazed by the depth of sky, hinting to the unfathomable realms of universe that lay beyond. I’m amazed that I have not seen the sky in this way before. I’m amazed at how beautiful and how commonplace this sight is.
How many thousands of times have I missed this?
How many times have I been distracted by sad headlines instead of being elated by something so real and so right in front of my eyes?
There is so much beauty, and life is so precious and so fleeting—and I don’t want to miss another moment.
And so, I look up at the sky in wonder too.
Author: Johanna Sevier Robb
Apprentice Editor: Aga Wyrzykowska; Editor: Travis May