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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 23-Oct-16


Sunday 23-October-16

I lost the sense of beauty and then found it again. Here's how.

I once wrote a blog, titled ?I have studied myself cynical?. I felt I had lost a lot of the wonder I once had. I started as a graduate engineer and then gained four post-graduate qualifications, as well as reading non-stop for fifty years or so. And as I knew more, I seemed to appreciate less.

So, as an engineer, I thought ?this is an interesting problem? and (paradoxically) studied it more. In brief, I found it was related to two things.

It firstly is about the familiar and the strange. When we are young, many things are unfamiliar, and so we gaze at even the simplest thing in wonder. Familiar things are safe, but boring. They do not grab our attention. They have little ?wow?. Strange things can be scary, so we ignore them or pretend they are familiar.

So one thing I did to increase the strange in my life was to travel more. I also sought to deliberately meet people from different backgrounds, and listen to their stories.

In addition, it is about perception. In creating familiar understanding, we simplify and force-fit the world to our fixed mental models. It is in how we interpret and create meaning that beauty is perceived.

So I decided to learn to see beauty where I had been seeing familiar. For this, I took up photography. This aligned with my travels and added the dimension of looking creatively at everything in front of me.

Here are some of the photos I?ve taken on my travels: Dave's Photos

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