Is it any wonder?

©Glenn Althor www.http://obscurepieces.com/ Used with permission.

©Glenn Althor www.http://obscurepieces.com/ Used with permission.

One of the things I appreciate most about spending time with young children is learning to see the world again through their eyes, with the sense of wonder they shine on all they view.

“What’s this?”

“Did you see that?”

“Why is like that?”

“What would happen if …?”

For many adults, that sense of wonder has been buried deep inside, hidden by the worries and concerns in the hustle and bustle of modern life; the busyness with which we seem to cloak our daily activities.

©Glenn Althor www.http://obscurepieces.com/ Used with permission.

©Glenn Althor www.http://obscurepieces.com/ Used with permission.

But how joyous it can be to fling off that cloak of busyness and once more allow a childlike sense of wonder to emerge. The company of a young child is not essential for this to occur, although it may help to reawaken the sense initially.

Take a moment each day to step off the treadmill of relentless must dos and appreciate the wonder all around.

It can be easier than you think:

Smile at a fellow commuter or passer-by.

Appreciate the friendliness of a smile, a gesture, a kind word.

Look around for changes in the landscape, notice details you may have missed before – “How long has that been there?”

Cloud gaze.

©Glenn Althor www.http://obscurepieces.com/ Used with permission.

©Glenn Althor www.http://obscurepieces.com/ Used with permission.

Search through the daily cacophony to identify the song of each individual instrument: man, machine, nature.

Listen to music; old favourites or new tunes. Louis Armstrong’s “What a wonderful world”  and Van Morrison’s “A sense of wonder”  help to get me in the mood.

Pause to ponder the whys, the hows, the possibilities and the big questions, like “Who am I? Why am I here?” and “What is the meaning of life?”

Stop telling people how busy you are, instead think of something you are enjoying, have achieved or are working on right now. Share the joy of being alive and capable.

Breathe deeply; and as you focus on the breath as it moves in an out of your body, appreciate the life-giving air that surrounds you.

©Glenn Althor www.http://obscurepieces.com/ Used with permission.

©Glenn Althor www.http://obscurepieces.com/ Used with permission.

If a child should ask a question, avoid the impulse to rush in with a wonder-stop: “That’s the way it is. I don’t know. I haven’t got time. I’m not worried about that now. We have to go. Not now.”

I apologise that I am unable to attribute this cartoon correctly. I clipped it from a newspaper many years ago and no longer have the source. If you are able to help me with identifying the source so I can acknowledge it appropriately, I'd be very appreciative.

I apologise that I am unable to attribute this cartoon correctly. I clipped it from a newspaper many years ago and no longer have the source. If you are able to help me with identifying the source so I can acknowledge it appropriately, I’d be very appreciative.

Instead, pause for a moment and ask yourself the question as if you were the child, seeing and wondering for the first time, with a burning curiosity and longing to know. Look where the child is looking, see what the child is seeing. You’ll be amazed at what wonders will be revealed.

©Glenn Althor www.http://obscurepieces.com/ Used with permission.

©Glenn Althor www.http://obscurepieces.com/ Used with permission.

Reclaim your right to wonder. After all, “Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.” (Socrates) and “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” (Einstein)

These ideas are but a few. I invite you to share your favourites.

8 thoughts on “Is it any wonder?

  1. Bec

    Hi Nor, thank you for the great reminder to appreciate the world in which we live. As you mention, it is so easy to forget to appreciate that which is around us and instead be drawn into our screens all the time. You remind me of Jostein Gaarder’s comments when he spoke at the Brisbane Writers’ Festival a few years ago about when he was in school feeling amazed by the universe, and his teachers (and parents too? I can’t recall) quickly ‘capping’ that wonder. We are fortunate that he was able to facilitate his own creative thinking and wonder, but you make me think that perhaps many times a child’s creativity has been halted by a busy adult, and has not been reawakened by the child.

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    1. nco04662 Post author

      Hi Bec,
      Thank you for your comment. I agree that we readers are indeed fortuntate that Jostein Gaarder was able to harness his creative energies to bring us so many wonderful stories. I think that at the BWF you mention, he was discussing his then recent publication, “The Castle in the Pyrenees” which was written innovatively as an exchange of emails.Although a wonderful read, I think “Sophie’s World” which we read together when you were an early teen, and I have read a number of times, is still my favourite: filled with many things to marvel at and wonder about.

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