August 1, 2019: Wonder
Wonder is the beginning of wisdom. Socrates
The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction. Rachel Carson
Wonder is not really about pondering the stupidity of others or considering how to regulate the “unworthy” to lesser status. Wonder is joy and beauty and responsible learning—it is wisdom. Wonder is necessary.
Watching a young child be amazed and curious is uplifting. Watching a child whose wonder is lost is a tragedy. We practice becoming an adult by leaving childish things behind. That’s fine if we know that naïve innocence is not the same as smart innocence. But innocence lost is at least a precursor to wonder lost.
Our stewardship includes the art of wonder. Finding novelty in the known is a worthy endeavor. Finding novelty in the unknown is a worthy endeavor. Finding novelty in the unknowable, despite never being able to know it, is a worthy endeavor.
How do we regain wonder, if wonder is lost? Maybe just quit being so familiar with our lives and the lives of others? Maybe plant and care for a tree or allow someone else to go first or notice a bloom in the desert? We don’t have to be famous, we don’t have to be first, we don’t have to be rich, we don’t have to be best, we don’t have to be a certain gender or have a certain kind of skin, we don’t have to live in a certain area, or have a certain income, we don’t have to live in the best of times. We need wonder to thrive. And best of all? Wonder is free.
What a Wonderful World
Recorded by Louis Armstrong, lyrics by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss. Memory Lane Music Group, Carlin Music Corp. and BMG Rights Management.