9.25.2011

What The Athenians Taught Me This Week

The ancient Greeks taught me a valuable lesson via my humanities class the other day.



This is the Parthenon.  The ancient temple was built on the Acropolis and dedicated to the goddess Athena.  At the time, the Athenians valued the perfection of mathematical precision.  Realism dominated their culture.  


However, they soon realized that if they were to follow the mathematical proportions exactly, their majestic temple would look.... lame.  The front entrance would appear to sag, the columns would look skinny and wimpy.  It just wouldn't reflect the grandeur that it was meant for.
So, they improvised here and there.  Give the columns some beefiness in the center. Let the floor have a bit of a curve.  Give it some life.  And so on, until it reached aesthetic perfection.  
   


Sometimes my prissy little second-grade perfectionist self comes out and starts to feel hopeless if things aren't going the way I planned.  When life isn't perfect, or perfectly in order, or going perfectly my way, I sometimes struggle to see the beauty or the logic in it.


Those Athenians had some weird beliefs, but they definitely taught me a valuable lesson.  There is beauty in imperfection.  Life is beautiful, even if it's not the perfectly calculated plan we originally had.  And most of the time, what actually ends up happening is so much better than the blueprints we had in mind.  We just have to take a step back and look at the whole picture.


(replica of the Parthenon)

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for reminding me things don't have to be perfect to be beautiful!

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