Every day, we are blinded by beauty. We walk past buildings that are designed by geniuses, drive over bridges that took generations to build, and ignore hours of “background music” in every coffee shop, clothing store, and lobby we wander through. There are so many beautiful things in the world that our mind has to work actively to filter them out.
Currently, there are about 70 million songs on Spotify. If you decided to listen to all of them, streaming 24 hours a day, it would take you 500 years. Songs are being added at a rate of 20 million per year so by the time you finished listening to all 70 million songs, 500 years from now, you’d only have heard 1% of the music available to you.
To tap into this vast ocean of beauty, all we need to do is pay attention.
Does this mean that you should take out your ear buds and listen to the sounds around you? Maybe, but what’s playing in your earbuds is beautiful too. Does it mean you should stop looking at your phone? Maybe, but your phone and the content you can access with it is the collective project of millions of artists, programmers and technicians. It’s one of the most amazing things that human beings have ever created.
I think the sheer volume of beauty in this world means one thing: You can live your whole life and never lose your sense of wonder. There are so many amazing things at your fingertips. Even your fingertips themselves are beautiful… go ahead, look at them.
It’s not easy to filter out the beauty around you. Its work for your mind, but it becomes habitual and we get stuck in ruts where all we see are the blank spaces our minds create to shield us from constant distraction.
Have you ever opened Spotify and thought, “ughhh, I’m sick of these songs?”
Sometimes I open Spotify and I’m overwhelmed by my choices, and sometimes, I’m overwhelmed by the idea that there’s music available that I would love, but that I’ll never hear.
That feeling of “ughhh I’m sick of these songs” is just your mind being tired of all the choices. Give your mind a break. Listen to a random piece of music and try to understand why someone loved it enough to make it. Especially try listening to music that you know millions of people like and you’re just not one of them. I used to describe my taste in music as “everything but country”. I grew to appreciate Country music, simply by trying to understand why so many other people appreciate it. There’s more to life than what we’ve decided to see. We can go deeper into the world anytime by just taking a breath and allowing ourselves to experience the beauty all around us.