Before The Weekend #12 — Beauty — 2 July 2021

As I was working in this wonderful location: La Ramée, an abbey in Wallonia, it struck me that today’s Before The Weekend should be about beauty. Feel free to share your own questions and reflections here or on Youtube.



What is beauty?

What is your connection with beauty?
What do you consider as being beautiful?

To me, a lot of things about this abbey and its surrounding grounds struck me as beautiful: the venue itself, the structures, the park, the lake, the animals… And I wondered, is beauty something that happens in the mind? The heart? The soul? When do we consider something or someone as beautiful?

I like to compare it to the half-full or half-empty glass. We always have the capacity to look at anything from a perspective of beauty. If I use beauty as a lens, I will notice things like the ducks quacking near the lake. I could also use a different lens and focus on how hot it is or how pesky the mosquitos are.

So, which lens is your standard to look at the world?

Should there be beauty in business?

I’m also interested in understanding the place of beauty in business. We are, after all, humans interacting with each other. How often do we refer to beauty when we interact with colleagues, direct reports, clients or suppliers?

This is not some philosophical nonsense. We can actively add beauty through what we have to say, the quality of our interactions, their sincerity and authenticity. By not drifting away from how we connect with ourselves and what we stand for.

Do we need more beauty in society?

This can also be translated to society. The way we interact with each other, politics, media, is too often disconnected from beauty. Not so much from an idealistic point of view, but through accepting and seeing that there is a positive side in everything. Again, much like the glass-half-full metaphor. Do we apply a dramatic and negative lens? Or a positive, constructive, acceptive one?

Beautiful things uplift us as human beings. We can find it in small things or amazing things, like the impressive barn behind me. We can find it in complex things or simple things. In nature, in connecting with other people, in great conversations, going for a walk… It’s all part of the realm of beauty.

So how are you going to integrate beauty into your weekend?