While watching television last night, I saw six cosmetic commercials in the span of three hours. The message in all of them was virtually the same: Resist the appearance of aging and wrinkles! Here is a fact of human experience, of living “in the real world:” Have as many cosmetic surgeries as you can afford; do all you can to cover up the appearance of wrinkles, but they will, in the end, come back to “haunt” you. Over time, the body ages and, with aging, physical beauty fades.
The lesson for us humans, if we will heed it, is that the highest good in life, the meaning to human existence, cannot be found in the fleeting glory of beauty; for like a beautiful flower or lovely bouquet of roses, beauty eventually dries up and withers.
The modern-day worship of youth and beauty is a form of idolatry. And, like all idols, they eventually crumble and fall, smashing our illusions about “the good life.” Love, the kind love that endures with time, is a thing of true beauty. In that sense, love, not physical beauty, is the ultimate meaning of life.