AM NOTE: Another wonderful piece by Milton Teen Bo Quintana.
Milton is a pretty cool place.
We got horses, squirrels, huge trees, squirrels, cows, squirrels, cool houses, and squirrels.
Anyway, it’s a beautiful town in a beautiful area of the world.
But how do we know that?
What’s the scale in which we rate beauty in animate and inanimate objects? Who invented it? Why do our brains believe that Angela totally shouldn’t wear that skirt with that purse?
Can we blame Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty? Or the Greeks, for thinking of Aphrodite?
Can we blame the cavemen, because they’re generally easy to blame?
I really have no idea. Why are you asking me anyway? Jeez.
My guess though is that once the brain started advancing from monkey thoughts to human thoughts, it began sliding away from important stuff – like survival, food and water -- and began thinking about what it needed to do to feel good.
And so, standards were made.
Standards were the brain’s way of making us feel better by comparing us to everyone else.
But who invented the standard that determined that Angela has bad fashion sense? We did. It may have been molded by someone else, like a mother, a father, a television, or a teacher, I don’t know. But ultimately, it was our brains that thought it up.
So who gives a doodle? Not many people. But we should. By reshaping our ideas on beauty, we could probably prevent a large chunk of everything that sucks in the world. What if the excessive amount of money spent on makeup, for example, was instead put toward ending poverty? Wouldn’t that be something our little monkey brains could be proud of?
What other advantages could we find in our refusal to judge things based on beauty?
Less suicide (which is actually starting to become a big problem in little ol’ Milton).
More self-confidence (which will create better job interviews, which will lead to better jobs).
Less bullying (hallelujah for me and my scrawny friends!).
More acceptance (KKK is passepassepasse!).
So how do we do this?
1. Don’t be snooty. Snooty people include people who giggle behind strangers’ backs, people who insult other people due to their looks, and people who make fun of people for their intelligence. Snooty people bite.
2. Look for people’s talents. That weird homeless guy turns out to be a great pianist. Who knew? You did! Because you took time to get to know him. Good job, you!
3. Don’t buy things you can’t afford. Just a good rule of thumb, doesn’t have much to do with changing standards, but hey, we all need this advice every now and again.
So do these things, Milton! Our trees, horses and squirrels will still be beautiful, but only because we discovered that those squirrels learned the violin, not because their tail is the hairiest or that their nuts are the nuttiest. It’s because the squirrels somehow acquired talents that are remarkable.
Stay beautiful and stuff,