A Man Who Saw No Beauty

There was a man who could not see any beauty in the world. No matter what spectacle he had seen, he only saw sadness, anger, despair, and disappointment. He would go around, telling others of how there was no true beauty in the world, only the tricks we played on ourselves, hoping to hold on to some form of hope that our world wasn’t in ruins already.

No matter what he saw, there was no beauty. He witnessed sunset and sunrise, but only saw the dread people faced from having to wake up to the stresses they would experience throughout the night. Deer would run past him as he travelled, though he could only see the deer becoming someone else’s dinner. Perhaps, the worst case of this was when he saw his child born, he could only see the pain they would experience after losing their parents, not the joyous moments of birthdays, or the making of a new friend. No, those were only distractions from the universe, trying to hide us from the truth.

As the man went on, spreading his word, he ran into a man adamant about telling him that beauty existed in everything, he just needed to try harder. The man who saw no beauty was used to this, he had many tell him the same thing, but this man assured him, he was different than the rest. “I have walked the land. I’ve seen nearly everything there is to see on this world, and I assure you, there was not a moment I could not find any beauty. Come with me, I’m sure I can show you something beautiful. Perhaps that will help open your eyes to a world around you that you’re missing out on!”

And so, the man who saw no beauty went with the man who had walked the land, where they came upon a river. “Look closely. See all the fish swimming around? How the stream flows in that direction for as far as we can see, leading to who knows where. The animals who come to this river to drink find peace here. It’s very likely there was a civilization that was started here because of this river,” said the man who had walked the land.

“Yes, I can see the fish swimming, how the river seems endless, and how these animals come here to survive. It is likely there was a civilization formed here as well,” the man who saw no beauty spoke, though it was with a tone of sorrow.

“Yes!” the man who had walked the land exclaimed in excitement, “Now do you see the beauty?”

“I see that these fish will die, possibly from being hunted by a predator, or pulled out by some careless fisher and left to suffocate. And though it may seem the stream goes on I know it has to stop at some point. It also may be an inconvenience for those who live nearby, or perhaps may have ruined the fauna that was once in its path. The civilization that might’ve been here is long gone, with nothing to show for it, save for bones buried beneath the earth. There is no beauty here, only eventual death, like all things in nature.”

The man who had walked the land gave frowned at the man who saw no beauty and tried another place. Though this man tore apart this place as well. It continued on like this for some time, until the man who had walked the land had an epiphany. “If I can’t prove to you there is beauty in everything, I know someone who can. Come with me, one last time. I promise it won’t be a waste!” The man who saw no beauty only sighed and gestured for his acquaintance to lead the way.

After walking for what must have been days, they finally came upon a lone tent in a valley. “Sir, I brought someone who claims to see no beauty! Despite my best efforts, I cannot get him to see all that life has to offer. Please, help this poor man understand. He seems to be so sad and I believe only you can help him! Please!” spoke the man who walked the land, to another man staring at the sky, a paper in hand, pencil in the other.

The man set the pencil and paper down and turned to look at the man who saw no beauty, inspecting him, circling around him, and mumbling to himself every so often. “While I commend you for your efforts, I fear I cannot help those who do not want to be helped, no more than you or anyone else. He may leave,” the man said, then immediately went back to looking at the sky, seeming to study the clouds.

“But sir! You’ve walked among the stars, you’ve not just seen the world, you’ve seen the universe and what it has to offer! Surely there must be something you can do!”

The man who walked among the stars grunted, then turned to the man who saw no beauty. “There is one thing I can do. I can give you advice, if you wish to hear it.”

The man who saw no beauty shrugged and said, “Why not? Though there’s nothing you can say that will change how I see the world, in its purest form.”

The man who walked among the stars smiled briefly, nodding his head, then spoke, “You actively avoid beauty. You don’t lack a vision for it, far from it. You see it. Then ignore it.” He spoke with anger and disdain. “There is beauty in everything, but because you can’t see any inside of yourself, you refuse to recognize the beauty around you.” The man who walked the land looked upon him in awe, having never heard his mentor speak quite this way before.

“Sir, perhaps you’re being a bit harsh,” said the man who walked the land. He looked over at the man who saw no beauty, who was silent, only staring at the man scolding him. Though it would be more accurate to say he was looking through the man scolding him, almost as if he knew this all already.

“I’m far from being too harsh my apprentice. This man is going down a dangerous path. He will do anything to convince those around him that there’s no beauty in anything. If he can’t find a lack of beauty in something, he’ll make a lack of it. He’d set ruin to the universe just to prove his point.” He pointed at the man who saw no beauty, “If you don’t change, I fear for the universe. There is beauty in you somewhere, but I can’t see it anymore than you can. So instead of destroying it, make some.”

He paused, but only briefly, “While there is a beauty in destruction, your destruction will only lead to despair. And when you look at yourself, you’ll not see a happier man, no, you’ll see a man who’s broken and wasted away. Now get out of my sight.”

The man who saw no beauty was dejected. He spoke no words but followed the order and left. The man who had walked among the stars saw no beauty in him either, and somehow, he had managed to find beauty in even the most destructive forces of the universe.

-by Luna

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