“It is not understanding that destroys wonder, it is familiarity.”
– John Stuart Mill, 1865
The regular transactions of our lives have a way of taking over and becoming the norm: getting the kids dressed, fed and off to school; grocery shopping; making sure the car is maintained and has enough gas; going through an onslaught of emails; politics and the 24-hour news cycle.
And every once in awhile, something occurs that is magical. Adventures can be as small as taking time to see what is just around the corner. I recently attended a meeting in Washington, D.C. I took a couple minutes out of my day to walk to the Renwick Gallery, which is just a block or so from the White House. They recently completed a $30 million renovation, opening the gallery with the exhibit Wonder. There are nine installations of artworks curated to inspire, create a sense of wonder, and connect us with a sense of joy. Throughout the exhibit there are quotes defining wonder:
“The only reason for bringing together works of art in a public place is that…they produce in us a kind of exalted happiness. For a moment there is a clearing in the jungle: we pass on refreshed with our capacity for life increased and with some memory of the sky.” – Kenneth Clark, 1954
Taking a step out of my way, away from the freezing-cold D.C. storm, I stood still in the gallery gleeful as a child wanting to touch the woven sticks that resembled life-sized haystack baskets or the string prism of light that was like being in the midst of a rainbow.
Taking these few moments to pause and reflect reminded me of things that always inspire my wonder:
Taking a moment to experience wonder can fill us with amazement and awe. What makes you feel wonder? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org or post in the comments below.