Beauty

 

"A politics of simplicity, especially one that emphasises graceful existence, gives centrality to the issue of beauty."

 
 

Wise words that incite thinking on this Saturday afternoon. The paragraph is from the book Jerome M. Segal called Graceful Simplicity: Toward a Philosophy and Politics of Simple Living.

"A politics of simplicity, especially one that emphasises graceful existence, gives centrality to the issue of beauty. The issue is not about "the arts"–it is primarily about the aesthetic of our public space and the beauty of the world of things we construct. As such, it is about the pavement on the streets, the design of street lamps, trees in our neighbourhoods, flowers in from of our houses, the building materials we prefer, the houses we buy, the bottles we drink from, the hairbrushes we use, the dishes we eat from. From the point of view of simple living, the public space and the fast that private space presents to public view are particularly important. One of the advantages of a society in which a significant part of the average person's economic well-being comes from participation in public goods rather than in private ones is that each individual's own economic well-being is less directly connected to the ups and downs of his/her income. So, if one lives in a healthful, beautiful city, rich with public space, then as an individual one is freer to work less and earn less, because in the surrounding public space one finds less of a difference between the well-being of the rich and the poor."