Be Lovely 365

makeitlovelyBeings and things are not sacred enough to me. May I never sully anything even though I be utterly transformed into mud. To sully nothing, even in thought. Even in my worst moments I would not destroy a Greek statue or a fresco by Giotto. Why anything else then? Why, for example, a moment in the life of a human being who could have been happy for that moment? — Simone Weil

Powerful words by a powerful woman. To sully nothing even in thought — what could that mean? I think it is Simone’s Weil’s way of urging us to look at the world around us and to make it lovely. It is her reminder that in our thoughts, words, and deeds we create the beauty or ugliness that surrounds us. Even in my worst moments I do not destroy the person or property of others, but what about the moments in their lives in which they may have been happy? Can I claim to have left them unmarred?

Our lives are constituted by nothing more than the moments that flow together and create the fabric of memory and being – have I stained that fabric when I could have made it lovely? When the cashier can’t operate her register? When the driver behind me pressed too closely? When the lines are long and I am short on time? When my roommate forgets, again?

The life of another being is the most precious collective work of art in which we shall ever endeavor. If I would not destroy a statue, or fresco, or notebook, or whatever, why then not protect the moments in which we could be happy which are ever more fragile and precious? Look at the moments you have in your hands. Look at them, and make them lovely.

Germ has a challenge for you — Be Lovely 365. Let us know all the ways you are making your world lovely each day.

Although her dream job is International Rock Star Detective, Jennifer Niven writes books. She is Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Germ, which was born out of her first YA novel (and eighth book), ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES (Knopf ’15). She reads as much and as often as she can, hates naps, cold weather, and onions, but loves most everything else, including palm trees, movie popcorn, lip gloss, and boys with guitars. Follow her on twitter, Facebook, tumblr, pinterest, and her very own website, or email her at



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