“A thing isn’t beautiful because it lasts.”
– The Vision, Avengers: Age of Ultron
A thing is beautiful because of what it does. 🙂
Coming toward the end of the movie, after the climactic battle, after the destruction and death… two artificial beings, the Vision and Ultron, have one final conversation before the former finishes off the latter. They say some foreboding things, including how doomed humanity is. Ultron says that, and Vision agrees. But, he adds this line, both an acceptance of humankind’s eventual fate, and high praise for everything humanity is.
Despite all our failings, and all the ugliness we heap onto each other, the Vision sees us as beautiful.
And the principle applies to pretty much everything. There are very few truly eternal, unchanging things in the universe, let alone here on our little planet, where we all run around with about as much significance as ants… of course, even ants matter more than we think, but that’s a different topic altogether. 😉
And yet, there is an abundance of beauty, made all the more valuable because they are temporary.
Applying this more directly to us, we all know things change. The world changes every day, sometimes quickly, often slowly. The weather, the land, the climate, the wildlife, the people… in the end, nothing simply stays the same. Some things may last longer than others, perhaps even a very, very long time, from our perspective, but with exception to the past, almost nothing is truly permanent.
Nothing simply stays the same forever. Everything changes. Everything ends.
That’s not always a happy thought, is it? But as it applies to us, as people, I can see at least two upsides.
Firstly, it is true, the things we love eventually end. Snowflakes melt, fireflies die, seasons change, and the golden days of youth are eventually left behind forever. But that does not mean there is no value in these things. Quite the contrary, it means we should appreciate them all the more. Waste no time on lesser things, set your priorities on what matters most, and hoard up memories to treasure forever.
Secondly, if everything changes, then so do bad things. Some people, many people, are born into suffering the likes of which I can scarcely imagine. It’s all they know. But some of them are still able to have hope that better days will come, that a brighter future can be made by their hands. If good times must eventually end, than so must misery. And that is an encouraging thought, I say. 🙂
So, for all that is wrong with us and the world, I say there is still a great deal of beauty to be found within us: a helping hand, a kind word, a laugh to heal the soul, a shoulder to cry on, a humble life, a job well done, a quiet conversation, a game with the kids, a family dinner, a tender kiss… so many things, there, then done and gone in an instant.
Seriously, the list is endless. Which just means the beauty of humanity is limitless. 🙂