Handsome is that handsome does
Life is a development in which the Endeavor of man should be to travel daily towards greater and greater perfection. A life which has no direction to move in and in which one only lives in the physical sense is called vegetation which means living like a thing without mind growing merely physically. Such a life is a descending from the higher human level to a lower unconscious and unthinking level. The superiority of man over the rest of the creation consists in nothing but in this possession of a mind and an urge to excel in things of the mind and the spirit rather than in things of the body.
A 'value' means an idea which represents something which is good in itself rather than for the sake of something else. A little distinction will make what we mean by value exactly clearly. Wealth is a good thing, but it is not good in itself. It is good only in so far as it helps us to achieve some other ends for example, the necessities of life power influence etc. These other things which come as a consequence of possessing wealth in their own turn may not be good in themselves but may only be a means to still further ends. On the other hand contemplating nobility is something good in itself it is desirable in itself and we cannot imagine it to be only an intervening stage to the attainment of something higher than itself.
The maxim which stands at the head of this essay expresses the conception of a value. Our criterion of judgment in life is ordinarily limited and shallow. We are carried away either by stupidity or by selfishness in valuing things of a lower kind. Goodness does not lie in wealth or in power. These are merely a moral or non-moral things neither good nor bad. Their goodness or badness is to be determined by the direction which they take, by the use to which they are put. The things which is really good and which determines whether a man is good or handsome whether he is worthy of our praise or not is this quality of doing something handsome that is morally good.