April 16, 2011
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Note: Written March 9th
Someone said something very interesting that sparked my mind–what makes something beautiful?
My friends were able to give many examples of things that are beautiful and ideas or thoughts that are beautiful. But they were all examples. Interestingly enough, I didn’t really agree too much with what other people were saying on what is beautiful. For them, it seemed to be more materialistic: people and objects. By all means, I think people can be beautiful, nature tends to be very beautiful, and random works or art can be beautiful. But when I first heard the word beautiful, the first thing I thought of was a pen and paper.
I find beauty in the human mind.
Later I had inorganic chemistry and I learned about carbon monoxide and iron in hemoglobin. The reason why carbon monoxide is poisonous to human beings is because one of carbon’s molecular orbitals almost identically matches the energy, shape and orientation as an orbital in iron. When those two orbitals overlap, it such a strong bond that it doesn’t leave the blood cell and inhibits the cell from functioning properly. I was shown the math behind those orbitals–I was able to predict the shape of those orbitals. And it the thing about it is, it is real.
So how is that beautiful? That even though human beings cannot physically see those orbitals or see small carbon monoxide molecules, people were able to use their minds and logic to explain something not directly tangible to them. And it is astounding to me how some times nature works. I often think that when people get sick, it was because of some malfunction or screw up in the human body. But here is an example of two molecules behaving perfectly the way they do and that causes human beings to be harmed.
But I think it goes beyond that.
People can be really smart and know textual knowledge, but how we act on it and the decisions we make can also be beautiful. I was once walking outside in the rain and a girl came up to me and asked me why I looked so down. I was actually just thinking about the things I needed to do that day, but she pulled my arm and placed my hand on the trunk of a tree and asked me if I felt anything. It was raining so I told her that the tree is getting nourishment. She smiled and said: “The tree is dancing in the rain and you can feel its heart beat with joy.” The girl was reminding me that there is goodness in everything and in the whole world around me. She decided to go out of her way to remind me of something so simple that I had overlooked that day.
In a way, there is something beautiful to what we do and think. But that beauty I think only comes when we choose to act or think a certain way.
But I don’t really know what beauty is; for me, I’m still learning. But I do hope this is part of coming to learn what it is. =)