30. The Principle of Beauty

I remember signing up for a music class when I was an undergraduate at the University of Georgia. I thought it’d be an easy spring-quarter “A.” Boy was I wrong! That class turned out to be a lot of work. On each test we had to identify the composers and titles of various classical pieces as the teacher played short segments on the classroom stereo. I likened the challenge to the old game-show “Name that Tune.” Remember that?


I remember my average during the quarter being “C,” but somehow I ended up with the final grade of “B.” Maybe he curved the final grades, but I really believe that this was a gift from the teacher, or his return of thanks for the note I left written on the final exam. It went something like this:


I came into your class thinking I’d pick up an easy “A.” I was wrong. It was a much harder class that I originally thought. But that’s okay because I really appreciate your introduction to this sort of music. Your love for music is clearly visible and that alone impressed me. You opened some important doors of beauty for me, and I thank you for that.


I meant those words. And they still ring true to this day. Beauty is sometimes hidden behind doors locked by ignorance or the attitudes of apathy and cynicism. It’s important, I think, to keep an open mind and make an effort to enjoy things outside of your own comfort zone.


Day 30 Guide


Today, spend time breaking new ground. Try something you’ve never attempted. Look for new experiences. Try also looking for beauty in familiar surroundings since familiarity sometimes leads to blindness.


© 2005, Levi Hill

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