Updated: Aug 16, 2019
A gentle plea to awaken, wonder and explore
The clocks call yet another day.
Our beds are warm and our pillows soft. Oblivion is the comfort of the sleeping. The deep, dark depths where nothing remarkable happens. The soft, safe weight of blankets pressing down on upon our bodies. Eyes slowly blink open, then close again. The incoming light is a little too bright, still.
Just five more minutes.
But you know as well as I that five turns into ten and ten turns into five to twelve. Time is all we do not have.
We live in a world of almost-unbelievable realizations of past dreams, filled with miraculous discoveries, inventions and people. We live in an age where science and technology have developed up until the point of disbelief. Ideas once belonging to the realm of science fiction are now taking form. Brain activity can be translated into action, and the question is not if we will colonize Mars, but when. The sky is not the limit anymore.
And yet our gaze is down and our eyes are closed. We lay our heads to rest and turn off. Shut down. Disconnect. From both others, the Earth, and ourselves.
Growing up, we quickly lose our childlike ability to look up and marvel at the world. When was the last time you shifted your gaze towards an overflying aircraft, marveling at the bare realization that those big, metallic birds have the ability to fly? When did you last gasp with admiration at the inner mechanisms of your body, operating without you having to lift a finger? Or at the fact that technology – those devices you are voluntarily glued to – enables you to travel effortlessly across the globe?
We are so used to our highly developed, fast paced twenty-first century lives that little seems to amaze us anymore. And as we all know from high school – it’s easy to dose off when things aren’t interesting.
To some extent, this is completely logical. We grow up and become accustomed to the world around us. Being perpetually mesmerized would be altogether nonpractical. Apart from that: the sheer volume of incoming information, of sense data lunging at us, is enormous. We cannot let everything in. In fact, our brains are neatly programmed to filter out the apparently unnecessary.
It becomes problematic when we actively shut out, but never actively pull back in. With all this information and knowledge at hand, each and every one of us runs the risk of becoming the excruciating know-it-all of the class. We know better than the person next to us. We have seen, done and read it all. The world can tell us nothing new.
Wonders and miracles. Yes. These have become dirty words of some sort. Guilty pleasures, connected to a metaphysical idealism left for the spiritual. Yet when you shift your gaze, the world suddenly becomes filled with them. Regardless of whether you gaze towards nature, technology or people; wherever you seek, you will find.
Hook yourself back onto your senses. Resign from the mere job of receiver. Absorb your surroundings instead of simply passing through them. Look beyond what you see, listen beyond what you hear, think beyond what you think you know. Start asking questions. The why, the what, the how: all of them. Collect every single one of your automatic thoughts and convictions and take them for a trip. Scrutinize the hell out of them. Better yet: toss them altogether. Start anew. Explore.
We appear to have developed our surroundings, our technologies, faster than we could ever keep up with ourselves. In an age where possibilities and communication are endless, boundaries and miscommunication are as plentiful. And so are feelings of unfulfillment and loneliness. The multiplicity of connections has thinned them. We yearn for strengthening, for meaning.
I am convinced that a mind put in a state of awe and wonder creates more fulfilled, generous, loving human beings. I am equally convinced that we ourselves are capable of putting our minds there; of igniting this sense of awe. And that there was never a more perfect time to do so than now.
The clocks call yet another day.
Awaken as if you have never experienced anything before. Get un-used to the world.
Walk with me in childlike wonder, with curious mind and open heart, into the age of awe.
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