An analysis of the appreciation of the beautiful and its place in daily living as understood by university students in Nairobi County

Kariuki, Esther Wangeci
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Strathmore University
This investigation has been an attempt to get to the root cause why many Kenyans appear to have little concern for a beautiful physical environment in terms of urban cleanliness, order, and courtesy in the transport sector. The experience in many parts of Kenya especially the capital city of Nairobi bespeak of chaos especially with regard to the apparent deficiency in the planning and construction of buildings, open gutters and display of sales, disposal of waste which more often than not mercilessly litter the city. In an effort to capture the mindset of the ordinary Kenyan in these matters, this researcher reached out to a portion of the urban population through a survey administered on university students in order to gauge their appreciation of the aesthetical and to find out if they associate aesthetics to ethics in their daily living. The survey was administered to 70 students in 6 private and public universities. The results of the survey were analyzed using library resources such as journals, books and research papers. The results revealed that there in an essential appreciation of beautiful things and beautiful environment among university students. However there are cultural, social and educational elements that undermine the concern for or the maintenance of good physical environment when one has to choose where to live and how to live there. The results also reveal that there is a dire need to foster a sense of harmony and order, cleanliness, maintenance and repair during the formative years of young people at the different educational levels to prepare them to appreciate and be responsible for the harmony and order in the urban environments. This study will be of immense benefit to the education department in curriculum planning and development, as well as in understanding an overlooked aspect of the human person which is just as important as science and technology. The study will also be of benefit to urban planners in order to make allowances for the absolute humanizing role of aesthetics and ethics underlying building and construction. Urban planners may find answers for the inclusion of facilities which humanize such as open green spaces, proper sewage systems, allowances of household laundry and storage facilities which lead to the appreciation of the beautiful in daily living.
Transcendentals, Aesthetics, Good, Beauty, Truth, Values, Ethical care