Internet Inspiration: On Beauty, Perception, Love, and Elephants

Photo Credit: myfear via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: myfear via Compfight cc

I’ve been thinking a lot about the nature of beauty lately, ever since I realized that appreciation for it, as well as for art and nature, is central to my personal values. I think of beauty as something that inspires awe or reverence, less physically or aesthetically than emotionally impactful.

Alan Alda wrote, “What is beauty anyway? It’s more than something pleasant looking. If it doesn’t stop us in our tracks and make us unable to move for a moment, unable to put into words what’s closing off the breath in our throats, then maybe it’s pretty, but it probably isn’t beauty.”

Kathy of the Naked Gardiner writes: “Beauty takes on many forms, it can be the villain we love to hate, or the thing that repels us the most, but at the end of it all it is how we react and the choices that we set in motion that really allow our minds to perceive things in a light that is either favourable or distasteful.”

Yes, beauty is about perception. Funny thing about perception: While I don’t follow Dr. Phil, I wholeheartedly agree with his assertion that, “There is no reality, only perception.” (Life Law #6)

To that end, I want to share my favorite movie of the summer (so far): Maleficent. The hubs and I went to see it by accident. The film we’d meant to see had already started, our second choice was sold out, and so Maleficent became our third try’s a charm. And I’m so glad it did. Having not given the film much thought, other than its presentation of a subject people love to hate (the eponymous character and lead actress), I was very pleasantly surprised to find it turned everything Disney on its ear.

Jordan Shapiro shares Why Maleficent Matters on Forbes. Why do I love the film? Two reasons: It blurs the line between hero and villain (and forces us to rethink such coarse dichotomies in general), and it affirms the power of true love (and not the kind you think). You’ll have to see the film or read Jordan’s spoilers if you want to know more.

Before signing off this week, I have one more favorite for you:

Rob Brandford on what elephants can teach us about life. And, it’s plenty!

david sheldrick wildlife trust

Kibo and Julius, at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Rob is director of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, a Kenyan organization that has raised by hand more than 160 orphaned elephants and rhinos over its 30+ year history. To learn more about their amazing work or to see some more photos of baby elephants, please visit their website:

What’s your favorite Internet Inspiration this week?


Kate Watson


Kate Watson - Thanks for stopping by & commenting, Kathy! Great to see you here. 🙂

Kathy Gardiner - Great post lovely! I’ll have to watch Maleficiant now! 😀 Thank you for your inclusion of my perspective on beauty! x