W is for Wonder

“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.”
― Socrates


“I hope you never lose your sense of wonder…
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean…”

-by Mark Daniel Sanders and Tia M. Sillers, sung by Lee Ann Womack

Koala bear; San Diego Zoo; Photo Credit: Doree Weller

Koala bear; San Diego Zoo; Photo Credit: Doree Weller

As we grow older, many of us lose that sense of wonder, because so little is new.  I meet people who wear their cynicism like badges of honor, as if because they’ve seen it and done it, somehow that gives them the right to pretend there’s nothing left to shock or amaze.

And while they have the right to their cynicism, what’s the price for it?  Being cynical means you’re trading happiness for the ability to say “been there, done that.”  That’s not worth it to me.

Some people may think I’m naive, but I’m not shy about being enthusiastic.  Every day is a new day, which means that everything in it has the potential to be new.  Sure, I’ve seen a flower before, but I’ve never seen it right now before, in this light, through these eyes.  I’m not the same person today that I was yesterday or that I will be tomorrow.  I change and grow every day.  And maybe the changes aren’t noticeable, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not there and that they’re not valuable.  That means that everything I see is new everyday, because I’m a little different.

I had a conversation with a friend today about creativity.  Creativity is sometimes not valued, and creative people can be shunned for not marching to the beat of everyone else’s drum.  The problem is that sometimes I don’t hear a drum.  Sometimes it’s a kazoo or a flute.  Sometimes it’s the sound of someone playing the comb or the washboard.  My music isn’t less valuable… it’s just different.

Creativity is the ability to see things or express things in a way that’s not necessarily new, but that sparks a sense of wonder.  That sense of wonder is what keeps me going.  Look at something through fresh eyes today, and really notice what you see.  There’s wonder and beauty all around us; we just have to be willing to notice.