April 2

The world will never starve
for want of wonders, but
only for want of wonder.

G.K. Chesterton


Today's Meditation:

There is so much on this planet that could and should instill a sense of wonder in us, yet we somehow learn to be a bit cold and callous, taking these things for granted and not seeing anymore just how amazing they really are.  From the ways that our fantastic bodies work to the incredible fearsome beauty of a snowstorm to the jets flying overhead to the incredibly delicate intricacy of the tiniest flower or insect, this world is filled with example after example of wonders.

Yet we look at them and feel no wonder.  In fact, we usually don't even think of these things at all--we just see them without considering them.  We react to them based on what we're doing at the moment--the snowstorm becomes a pain in the neck when we have to drive, the insect is an unwelcome invader when it's inside our home.  Children, for the most part, still see the wonder in this world, yet we're teaching them earlier and earlier to put aside their sense of wonder in order to appreciate more their logic and their abilities to gather and process information.

A kid staring at a screen to play a video game or watch a movie isn't going to notice any wonder at all, while the kid who's playing outside at least has the chance to explore, notice, feel, and see.

And perhaps that's what happens to most of us--we don't wonder because we spend so much time indoors, staring at screens while we're fed a steady stream of information or entertainment, all the while growing further and further away from a state of awareness, of mindfulness, of wonder.  It is possible to recapture that sense of wonder, but it obviously will take not just opening up our eyes and our hearts, but also giving up so much time spent on other things that squash the sense of wonder like a bug under our boot.  I suppose it's up to us--if we value it enough, we'll search it out and let it be an important part of our life.

Questions to consider:

When did your sense of wonder begin to fade?  How?

Can you see five things that are around you right now that can make you feel a sense of wonder if you think about what they are and how they came to be?

Why are children more open to allowing their sense of wonder to shine through?

For further thought:

If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantment of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things that are artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength.

Rachel Carson


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