Beauty is not frivolous

Early this year, on the TED Talk Stage, the great creative, Renzo Piano, noted near the end of his presentation on architecture, “Beauty is not a frivolous idea.  It is the opposite”  Amen!

He went onto note how, in many languages including his own Italian, the word beautiful also means good. Many times, I’ve heard it used to describe a job well done, an exceptionally good effort, even a particularly tasty morsel.

The massively gifted architect talks about how the universal concept of BEAUTY can change the world.  A searching for desire & dreams.  I love how he talks about experiencing beauty, that it brings a special light to our eyes- – to our heart, to our being.

Beautiful architecture makes for better cities, which helps make for better citizens.  And savoring a universal sense of beauty CAN save the world, one person at a time.  But it has to BE there.

Think of places designed for “elder care” that have little beauty about them.  Beauty of place has little to do with prints on walls in the foyer & public places.  All too often, the beauty that existed when a continuous care residence first opened vanishes as demand drives expansion that disrupts the original carefully designed lines, gobbles up open spaces & woodlands, a beauty that is hard to achieve in the small apartment that replaced the family home.

How do we bring beauty into the lives of people confined to rooms & limited spaces, who are restricted by a crumbling body or mind from seeking beauty in nature & places beyond home or residence or facility?  Universal beauty WILL save the world & can save our lives, the lives of those we love & those in our care.  How does that look & feel?

Beauty is not a frivolous idea – it is quite the opposite.  What can we do to bring more beauty to those around us, to ourself?  How can we help make the lives of those in our loving orbit & tender care not only safe & secure, but bella?

 Related Link:

A voice for the ages – Aretha Franklin posted an excellent tribute to the inimitable ARETHA FRANKLIN.  If you get the chance to hear her entire Grammy performance of the Nessun Dorma – she stepped in for an ailing Pavarotti – enjoy every glorious moment.   And, of course, the New York Times pulled out all the stops in praising the Queen of Soul.

Fragile financial networks & the elderly

The Takeaway had a sobering broadcast (about 4/5 in) on homelessness.  Although it was focused exclusively on African-Americans & includes prominent mention of  “systemic racism” as a factor, it emphasized the key point that goes across all races – that poverty is not necessarily what plunges people into disaster.  It could be an $800.00 car repair that leaves someone without a strong financial network able to make a loan  without transportation to a job, which is subsequently lost, and they can’t get a new one because they lack wheels to get there.

The importance of financially stable networks.  John & I didn’t have family members able/willing to step up with help when our financial stability cracked & crumbled after Mom’s final illness – four days after 9/11,  the criss-cross of crises – some related, some not – that followed, plus my inability to get any sort of full-time employment at 50+, let alone at the corporate salary/perks I expected to pull in until retirement.  BUT a strong friendship network/community connections kept us in our home.  Multiple times.  Today, we are slowly moving past being financially iffy, but will we ever feel the sense of security we once took for granted?

And we have no children of our own, no close family connections to the younger generations.  That puts us in the heart of a demographic increasingly finding themselves with rising costs, low fixed incomes (and the loss of Social Security benefits when a spouse dies), and an increasingly shredded social net that once kept people out of dire straits.  Oldsters & the elderly.

Listen & learn.  The older couple you know, the elderly aunt or uncle, might be on the verge of financial devastation.  Or already there & staying silent.