In our device driven lives dictated by notifications, tweets, and status updates we often forget to walk around the world with a sense of wonder. Yesterday afternoon I drove to Trader Joe’s and from the moment I got in the car I was annoyed by how slow everybody was going (muttering four letter words about the mom in her minivan). There was nothing to see. I was determined to get there and back as quickly as possible. The same stupid route I’ve driven a hundred times, with the same stupid stop lights I’ve been stuck at a hundred times.
When we’re far from home, we walk around the world with a sense of wonder. So much wonder, that a trip to the grocery store to buy a pair of Haviannas turns into a comedic adventure. And when you visit a foreign country, it’s not uncommon to find that you’ve seen far more than most of the locals.
- I’ve seen more of Brazil than many Brazilians.
- Every non-Indian friend of mine has seen far more of India than I or my parents have.
And people who’ve been abroad for extended periods of time experience reverse culture shock when they get home because the monotony of the daily grind doesn’t provide the same stimulus as it did when they were abroad.
But our sense of wonder is always at our fingertips. One of my favorite lines from my interview with Sasha Martin was “I realized it was my perspective that was narrow, not the city” She found the entire world in Tulsa, landlocked, a thousand miles from any ocean.
It was a sense of wonder that caused me to reach out to my high school friend who I’d been in band with. 20 years later we’re closer than we ever were in high school.
Next week I’ll be in NYC of the week of thanksgiving. The kid in me is thinking “I want to see a big Christmas tree, and drink hot chocolate and recreate a movie scene from Home Alone.
In our everyday life, in the most ordinary of moments, between sips of coffee, sentences and chapters, a sense of wonder could reveal the extraordinary.
We can walk through the world as if we have a PHD in exuberance (a line I stole from Patti Digh’s amazing book Life is a Verb)
When we walk around the world with a sense of wonder, we’ll see what’s been there all along but never noticed before.