So many people view beauty as something that is expendable, unnecessary. I would argue that beauty is absolutely necessary for people in our everyday lives. Aesthetics is central to civilization. Even the most remote cultures have some rituals that involve beauty.
When my aunt was dying of cancer (she passed away at the young, tragic age of 47), my sister and I took turns at her hospital bed painting her nails. She could no longer speak thanks to the cancer, but her face would light up and her smile would extend from ear to ear when we would pull out our bag of nail polish and accessories. Was it “necessary” to have a manicure when you are so very sick and quite literally on your death bed? In a sense, I would say that yes, it is. It brought her joy to see her nails painted a pretty color. Beauty mattered to her, even at that late hour of her life. It matters to all of us.
I am making a conscious effort to bring beauty into my life. A few, pretty flowers in a vase on the coffee table…a beautifully set dinner table with some lovely linens, a scented candle lit while taking a hot shower/bath in the evening…these all can add beauty to our everyday lives. It takes little effort or expense and it is indeed necessary.