The Ideal Face of Childhood

ਇੱਕ ਬੱਚੜੀ ਹੱਸਦੀ ਏ
ਫੁੱਲ ਵੱਤ ਖਿੜਣੇ ਦਾ
ਉਹ ਭੇਤ ਕੋਈ ਦੱਸਦੀ ਏ।
-ਪ੍ਰਭਸ਼ਰਨਬੀਰ ਸਿੰਘ
Beauty will save the world.
-Fyodor Dostoevsky

This face has moved my whole being. The face of this child, which is so angelic, so innocent, so sweet, so sacred and so pure. I have seen nothing like it before. The quote from Dostoevsky has always haunted me. I often felt unable to tell myself how beauty can save the world especially when today this world is going through its worst phase, its darkest period. We all know very well that the evils which have befallen our world are extraordinarily powerful and monstrous. All the wisdom of ages is feeling powerless to cope with it. Then what is needed to fight it. And Dostoevsky tells us that what is needed most today is beauty. How can beauty a shield against the evil when it is itself the most tender of all things?
The question which I pose here is no ordinary question. So we must remember that its answer also can’t be common. Anyone who is interested in finding an answer to this question must go through a different route. It starts by simply watching the face with all thought suspended and to follow the aesthetic experience generated by it. Although written years before seeing this picture, the first quote captures some glimpses of that experience. She is smiling and through her smile, telling us the deepest secret of life. what is this secret? It is this. That life is a blossoming. Everything else is useless. Whatever helps in bringing this blossoming forth must have the power to save the world.


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