Unthinking

The surprising forces behind what we buy.

Does Beauty Matter?

Does Beauty Matter?

Neah-Kah-Nie, Manzanita, Manzanita Beach, Neah-Kah-Nie Mountain, Oregon Coast
The view from my hometown. Honest.

I often talk about beauty, in my work as a marketer and an advisor to clients.

Why does beauty--that of an extraordinary sunset, for example--affect us so deeply?

Beauty inspires us, by reminding us that the extraordinary is possible.

Beauty is uncommon enough that it puts us in awe. It brings us face-to-face, as F. Scott Fitzgerald put it so well, with something "commensurate with our capacity for wonder."

Beauty assures us that life offers it, and that we can find more if we seek more.

It affirms that while life is far from perfect, it offers many nearly-perfect things.

When the beauty is a human creation, it reminds us of what we can accomplish. It raises our standards, and our hopes, and speaks well of us.

When we own something beautiful, it acts as a mirror that reflects on us; we feel that it is a part of us, and we are part of it.

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Chopin, Delacroix, Does Beauty Matter
Delacroix's Chopin: Beauty squared

And could it be that an appreciation of beauty is among the few things that distinguish us from all other animals?  Do apes or owls ever stop in the presence of something beautiful, and simply contemplate it?

Beauty has such force that it compelled Kahlil Gibran to insist that we live only to discover it. "All else," he continued, "is a form of waiting."

These thoughts come to me when I think of those discussions with clients about making something better. What about making it beautiful?

Might we gain anything from that?  I ask.

Need I have asked?

 

 

The photo above is the view from Neah-Kah-Nie Beach, where I spent the first 18 years of life.  Our days there often ended that way.  Honest.

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Harry Beckwith, J.D., is the author of five books including Selling the Invisible and What Clients Love.

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