We look out at the world today and it can be hard to see the beauty and wonder in the world. Our media delights in highlighting the chaos and disorder. Our politician like to pretend they are our loving parents there to protect us from all the demons in the world. You could be forgiven for thinking beauty and wonder are fleeting and unnatural things, that our natural state should be that of fear and insecurity because there is no hope for this world.
The truth is that beauty and wonder do very much exist in this world. It’s the sunlit dew on the grass on a winters morning. It’s the smile a girl has when her lover crosses her mind. It’s the innocent laughter of a child. It’s the book a husband picks up because he knows his wife likes the author. It’s a teenager madly brushing their hair before their first date. It’s a friend who is there when you least expect it. Beauty and wonder are rarely big things, it’s only the ego of powerful passionate people who try to create beautiful and wonderful objects on an epic scale but for most of us mere mortals beauty and wonder exist in the spaces between the dark.
If you have heard the story of Pandora’s box you will know that when Pandora opened the box she let out all the evils, devils if you will, in the world, sickness, death, chaos, destruction and anything that rides the front page of a newspaper. As they left the box these evils stung her and hurt her. The story continues though because when she looked again hope was left in the box and out it flew curing her pain. The myth of Pandora does not go into how hope could cure her wounds, but I know. Hope has two hands, and in one hand there is beauty and in the other wonder.
Zeus in his godly arrogance forgot one universal truth when he put all the evil in a box and that was that the universe demands balance, always. In putting evil in a box he created hope. All that ugly evil carrying despair and pain, it can’t exist in the absence of it’s opposite, it can’t even be defined without it’s opposite. So hope, carrying beauty and wonder in each hand, was born. Even though Pandora was hurt and stung by this evil it’s opposite was there too. When she opened the box again hope flew out and her hurts and pain were healed.
There is another lesson in Pandora’s story, hope can not exist in the absence of evil. We have a tendency as people to try and capture hope and keep it locked away. To take beauty and wonder and keep it for ourselves but that wont work. In the absence of evil Hope, beauty and wonder wither and fade. They become meaningless without the evil they helped cure. Hope, beauty and wonder shouldn’t be caged or boxed. They need to be held up high and shown to the world so they can grow and reach others who need healing.
If you have found hope in your life, holding beauty and wonder, it is up to you to raise it high. It is up to you when you find people who are trapped in the dark, having faced the evils of the world and unable to see the light, to show them hope, to show them that beauty and wonder still exist. To let hope beauty and wonder heal their wounds. Hope, beauty and wonder are often small things, but the most powerful things in life often are. In the end the only thing needed to balance, to cure, the evils in this world is hope, holding beauty and wonder in its hands.
Photo: Flickr/Michael Hensmann