“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom,” said Socrates. It is the art of admiration.
So, when were you last in a state of awe and why is it that adults seem to lose this spontaneous magic of childhood?
In the turmoil of everyday life, we are surrounded by millions of images, sounds, smells and sensations, but only a few of these really capture our attention.
To wonder is to awaken the senses, it’s an art, a conscience. It’s being able to detach ourselves from invading thoughts and appreciate the moment. Researchers define it as the feeling we get in presence of something bigger than ourselves. Also, the ability to relate to poetry, joy and the sublime of the world around us. A state of open-mindedness and questioning of how we see the world combined with gratitude for these daily gifts.
Children are born with this natural gift of wonder, being curious about the big and small, ordinary and extraordinary and accepting to not understand or make sense of everything. Open-minded, open-hearted and connected, a child feeds on their creativity and natural sense of joy for all experiences. It’s only as we get older that it becomes more challenging to stay connected; a desire to understand and control the world disconnects us from the ability to just wonder.
How to master this art? Here are a few ideas:
Discovering new cultures, new destinations, and new experiences enables us to be open to appreciate new information and feelings. These learning journeys develop curiosity and exploration rather than isolation and retreat. See cultural education.
Meditation enables to connect with oneself and to let go of thoughts and mental activity to just observe and feel your inner child for who amazement and wonder are a natural state. Meditation also helps to stay focused, calm and develop memory.
Beautiful surroundings and inspiring images awaken your senses and provoke feelings of wonder and amazement. Animals, nature, beautiful or mystical places allow you to dive into your imagination and travel. These stimulate a feeling of happiness, slowing the clock, enjoying the moment and overcoming stressful situations.
Diving into books and games stimulates imagination and creativity, taking you on internal journeys of excitement and emotions. These experiences urgently need to be revived as they are a profound resource for wisdom, the development of empathy and happiness. See edutainment.
To be amazed is a conscious and free choice. A piece of music, a bird song, a new taste, incredible landscapes or the beauty of an artwork will quickly give a good dose of energy. Taking the time to explore your universe with openness can transform your outlook and increase your quality of life.
Culture Kids proposes many learning journeys and discoveries, of countries, folklore, music, languages, creativity, philosophy and recipes from around the world.
«When we stop wondering, we stop believing in life. »
Michel Bouthot, Canadian writer.