Nature, it seems is asking hard questions of us just now. Showing us that any certainty we think we've achieved is highly fragile.
In Vlad P. Glaveanu's book Wonder: The extraordinary power of an ordinary experience, Glaveanu states, "what wonder teaches us is the acceptance of difference, to live with uncertainty and to embrace the unknown."
Looking at the world today and its difficulties and human suffering, all in the quest to attain certainty for a few, I cant help but feel perhaps we left wonder behind along time ago. Maybe its time we went back for it. It might be the unknown will turnout to be more beautiful than anything we’ve contemplated so far.
For me, Glaveanu’s version of wonder, and there are many others, feels like an invitation to do just that.
Glaveanu’s book is comprehesive. It goes deep. Here's my attempt at 10 takeaways. Each one, a lesson for myself.
1. Get out of your seat! Wonder makes you want to leap and jump with excitement, simply by being aware that a world full of possibilities exists.
2. Wonder is born when we encounter some aspect of the world or the world of another person. That is where wonder waits for us.
3. Be humble. Yes, our knowledge has limits. Wonder starts where our knowledge ends and we allow ourselves to dwell there.
4. Wonder only stays being wonder when we remain open to strangeness, to difference and to the unknown.
5. Arms out wide. It’s a tightrope. It can be fleeting. Wonder keeps the person doing the wondering, in a state of knowing and not knowing at the same time.
6. The magic of wonder is in the realisation that the world is full of different perspectives. To stop wondering or to not wonder, is to live with limits.
7. Certainty and knowing are the opposites of wonder.
8. Without wonder, our awareness and the exploration of what is possible will be limited and dismissed by our present world which prizes certainty above all else.
9. Wondering will always take place as long as we are open to other perspectives beyond our own, that we get excited about them and try to explore them. But only while uncertainty accompanies us.
10. Be prepared. Walking back towards wonder might mean we'll walk a different path in the future.