I think that one may contribute (ever so slightly) to the beauty of things by making one’s own life and environment beautiful, so far as one’s power reaches. This includes moral beauty, one of the qualities of humanity, though it seems not to appear elsewhere in the universe.*
Graciousness is a quality of mind that do not separate truth and beauty.**
I’ve heard this said a few times, though admittedly not to me:
Don’t just stand around looking beautiful, make yourself useful.
As if the two things are unconnected.
John O’Donohue proffers:
If we were to describe our life strictly in terms its factual truth, most of its interesting, complex and surprising dimensions would remain unmentioned.**
We each have the capability to make the world better with both truth and beauty.
One of the ways we can draw this out is to understand and develop our lives as stories.
Robert McKee may have written the following words to storywriters, but we are all storywriters:
Life on its own, without art to shape it, leaves you in confusion and chaos, but well-told stories have the power to harmonise what you know with what you feel. Story is a vehicle that carries us on our search for reality, our best effort to make sense out of the anarchy of existence.
It’s why the end of a dreamwhispering journey is not a list of personal facts, but a story.
*Robinson Jeffers, quoted in Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings: Robinson Jeffers on Moral Beauty, the Interconnectedness of the Universe, and the Key to Peace of Mind;
**From John O’Donohue’s Divine Beauty;
^From Robert McKee‘s newsletter: The Power of Story.