Editorial: A time to look for beauty

The holidays are here and we are assailed at every turn to shop, decorate, spend, drive here, drive there, bake and cook. In the middle of all the hustle and bustle, here is a reminder to see beauty in all things.

Isn’t it worth a second or two to contemplate these words in hopes they replace confusion and chaos with calmness? After all, if the essence of the holidays is joy, then surely beauty is worth contemplating, in hopes it takes us away from holiday shopping and driving stress in the same way a sip of something warm, or a smile can transform a bad mood into a happy one.

If shopping turns into a frustrating stumble through a labyrinth of online sites or a slog through the mall, then maybe it’s time to give a simple gift to someone.

If five minutes sitting in traffic or searching for a parking spot turns into a quarter of an hour of simmering rage, maybe it’s time to scrap the next shopping trip and make a plan to do an errand for someone else or give them a ride somewhere.

Arriving at the end of the year and dominating roughly a month, the holidays invite us to act and think differently than we do during the other 11 months. But the rush that descends with the holidays can block out that invitation to act with joy and overshadow opportunity with frustration.

Simple acts of charity, simple moments seized to help someone else or bring joy into their life can put the holidays back in focus and help us enjoy the moment.

Changing perspective so that it is infused with even a touch of beauty helps change our thinking about subjects beyond our immediate needs and experiences.

Instead of viewing national and international problems as joyless challenges that will always plague us, we can let positive actions, even ones as simple as offering someone a ride, alter our attitude and our viewpoint.

Seemingly irresolvable problems like reforming immigration or ending gun violence fall into focus and the potential for answers outweigh the endless arguments.

If beauty can inform our moments and our actions, then there is no place for violence. If beauty can give way effortlessly to charity, then finding a place in our hearts, in our homes and in our country for people who have no place to call their own becomes more of a possibility than a liability.

Today, let’s see the beauty in things, in every thing in every way.

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