Natalie Angier wrote, “The beauty of the natural world lies in the details.” I read this quote some time back and it has been resonating with me, since. The beauty of such things in our natural world often go unnoticed. Who notices the beauty of a single snowflake as they are flinging over a billion of them in one scoop while clearing the driveway? Yet, taking the time to examine an individual snowflake (microscopically) reveals a truly magnificent crystallized form.
In contrast, due to the complexities of life, we lean more toward not being able to see the forest for the trees. We often spend too much time focusing on the small details (trees) that we miss the big picture (forest). In neoteric civilization, this makes sense. By scrutinizing individual characteristics, we judge all aspects as a collective whole. Putting too much emphasis on a single mistake may damper an otherwise positive experience.
So, one has to ask. Is it the forest or the trees? The analytical side of me always wants to challenge opposing viewpoints. I like to have some element of proof, especially as it pertains to philosophy, before giving an endorsement.
My conclusion, especially as it applies to the natural world, does not take long. By looking at the nearby forest through a large glass window, I see true beauty. It is glorious and undeniable. Yet, internally, I know with great certainty where the true beauty lies. I would much rather be in the forest and amongst the trees, rather than looking at them from afar.
Natalie Angier was correct. Our ability to discern and examine small details gives us rationality and hope. When one considers all things, it is the small details that make all of the difference.