Exploring Human Potential

7 & 7: Beauty vs. Ugliness


Beauty suffers by definition. There is false beauty that is superficial and short-lived as there is true beauty that is deep-seated and forever. At times these two do coexist. At times they do not. One is understated, the other overstated. One is likely to offer surprises while the other may reveal disappointments with time. One is real, the other perceived. The two have the ability to replace and displace each other. Both have the ability to distract and attract. Real beauty, from inside, creates the capacity to appreciate and absorb beauty from outside. Nature’s beauty comes at shutter speed, carried on the wings of birds. If we seek the right type of beauty, it is worth great effort. But in this regard, it is worth reminding that we humans can confuse external with internal and suffer the disappointment of not finding goodness where we thought it should reside. To find the real thing, our hearts must be in the right place. If a person has beauty within, and is loved, it becomes visible on the surface, as a glow, a happiness, an ease of conversation, a comfort to another soul. Such beauty gained suffers not the dimunitions of time but rather grows each day, to the end of time, and beyond.


The ideal woman which is in every man’s mind is evoked by a word or phrase or the shape of her wrist, her hand. The most beautiful description of a woman is by understatement. Remember, all Tolstoy ever said to describe Anna Karenina was that she was beautiful and could see in the dark like a cat. Every man has a different idea of what’s beautiful, and it’s best to take the gesture, the shadow of the branch, and let the mind create the tree.
William Faulkner The bluebird carries the sky on his back.

Henry David Thoreau

No effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost.
Helen Keller

It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.
Leo Tolstoy

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do you love me because I’m beautiful, or am I beautiful because you love me?
Oscar Hammerstein, II

No Spring, nor Summer beauty hath such grace,
As I have seen in one Autumnal face.
John Donne

Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.
William Morris

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