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Pretty in Pink: Cultivating Beauty in New York City
4/11/2009 5:33:00 PM

Spring in New York City usually means lots of rain. Sometimes we skip spring completely and jump right from cold and rainy late winter to sunny and hot summer. Don’t misunderstand me, I love living here, and the beautiful and long fall more than makes up for the nonexistent spring. So last Sunday was one of these rare spring days (between a freezing and windy Saturday and a cold and rainy Monday) and we, which includes my wife Ameena and my two children Josef (4 ½) and Laila (1) ventured downtown to enjoy the sun and lunch “al fresco” at the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park.

Princess WandWhy am I telling you this story? I would like to use this blog to show you what we at Weleda understand by “Cultivating Beauty”. You may have read these two words on this website or seen them in one of our ads. For us, Cultivating Beauty is not just a campaign slogan but something that we do and experience every day around us.

So back to the story: Just as I sat there trying to keep Laila from throwing my sunglasses in the dirt and Josef from picking up the dirt on the ground while waiting for our food, two groups of people caught my eye that were both cultivating beauty in their very own way:
To the left of me was a group of Falun Gong meditating in silence for their political and religious freedom. Whether they are truly prosecuted or whether they are a religion or not is not up to me to judge, but they clearly felt discriminated against and were putting all their inner strength into ridding themselves of their burdens. Clearly this act of meditation was an attempt to make this world more beautiful – for them and by example for all people who feel oppressed or prosecuted due to their faith, culture, etc.

In stark contrast to that, I saw a teenager in a pink puffy princess dress and a tiara only a few yards to the other side of me. She was being photographed by a professional photographer and soon joined by what appeared to be her friends – all giggly teenagers dressed to kill. Whatever it is they were celebrating (my bet is on a sweet sixteen party), they were very clearly also cultivating beauty, albeit mostly their own.

Both groups were completely engaged in their own respective worlds and oblivious to each other and the world around them. Without knowing, they stood for two completely different meanings of “Beauty” – both equally valid in their own way. And they sure served as a very entertaining backdrop to our lunch.

Please write and let me know how you see people cultivating beauty as you enjoy the beginning of the outdoor season.

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