What does it do to a soul when there is no beauty in their world?
This week’s quote pointed out the lack of beauty in prison. Specifically, the quote from this story was a woman talking about being in prison for political reasons. Jail cells are never pictured as beautiful in our minds. They are places of punishment and thus no care is taken to make them pleasant.
But prisons are not the only places devoid of beauty. Anywhere people are not cared for becomes less and less beautiful. Those who do not cherish us have no concern for the atmosphere in which we live, no thought for the appearance of our domain, no regard for the presentation of our meals.
The messages that beauty sends us—we are loved, there is hope, someone cares, we are valued—these and more are all missing when we live in a place devoid of outward beauty.
Prisons, refugee camps, slums—these are extremes. What about more normal conditions, people who have adequate food, clothing and shelter that simply don’t pay attention to beauty? Or people who are missing some aspect of beauty? Does that damage our souls in any way?
Is is like the difference between starvation and the lack of a certain nutrient?
Do we need various types of beauty in our lives? Or is it all just window dressing, and not really necessary?