wo weeks ago, Katya Beebe explored what it means to pursue truth as part of one of CARP’s principles, “we mature through pursuing truth, beauty, and goodness.” Here’s part two of the series with an academic perspective on the pursuit of beauty.
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” As the proverb goes, each and every one of us considers beauty differently and subjectively according to our own experience and interest.
BEAUTY – “the qualities in a person or a thing that give pleasure to the senses or the mind”
In every educational pursuit, there needs to be an appreciation or curiosity that acts as an emotional stimulant. Beauty, then, is the emotional response. To be able to recognize the beauty in your area of study is to be able to embody it wholeheartedly, with an active and creative mind.
Seeing beauty in my studies.
International Relations is what keeps me on my toes, challenges my concepts, and inspires further research and self-learning. My interest in this area of study started with a love for foreign languages and experiencing other cultures at home and abroad.
My emotional stimulant is the beauty I see in different cultures interacting with one another, opposing worldviews finding common ground, and public policies improving people’s lives.
Often the perpetrator behind our educational deficits is lack of motivation. Like still water that turns murky, stale, and unattractive over time, a specific field of study without constant emotional stimulus leads to a stale application of that discipline.
Beauty sustains motivation.
To become an innovator in your field, you need to engage with it every day. Like anything, it takes time to know your subject matter, to know your place in it, and to know where you can make the most impact. See the beauty in your field of study and you will be motivated to engage with it on a daily basis.
On the daily, I am drawn to the news. My motivation for my studies stemmed from my understanding of what was happening in the world because I really cared and was impacted by these global events.
I noticed that whenever I found a connection between a case study and a current event or an in-depth analysis of a country’s policies, I was motivated. Motivated to understand the content in and out of the classroom.
Let’s state the importance of this.
Why does it matter to recognize the beauty in your area of study? College is four years of your life. A career can be for a lifetime. It makes sense to think about where you are putting your time and whether it is the best use of your time.
We need enjoyment in every aspect of lives, and that includes in our careers. Whether you would be working a nine-to-five office job or somewhere on the field, you will be spending many of your waking hours invested in this work. Make sure the work or the industry is something that you find consistently interesting with room to grow.
TRY IT: Keep a journal recording what intrigues you in your studies, find connections between your studies and your personal life experiences, and research how your subject matter can enrich your life not only now but in 5, 10, or 20 years to find its unique beauty and appeal to you.