We need everyday beauty to make us beautiful people.
In “The Art We Live With” James K. A. Smith makes the case for surrounding ourselves with beauty in the everyday environments of our lives (Image, Issue 104).
Beautiful things train our soul to appreciate beauty, and even, we must suppose, to aspire to beauty in our daily lives. There is plenty of beauty around us in our homes and elsewhere, and we should take the time to contemplate and appreciate it: “These quotidian arts that touch us, the arts we live with, evoke the imagination more subtly while also serving us in other ways. Their embedded artfulness is like a soundtrack for everyday life, in the background, unnoticed, yet affecting us.”
We need to give ourselves to such everyday beauty, and to appreciate it in even the most ordinary objects. “There is training of the soul in the arts we live with.” We should this “look for subtle ways to decorate our lives with new intentionality.”
In the culture of our homes, workplaces, and churches, we should take care to make sure that beauty is present, so that it can perform its background function of shaping us for beautiful lives.