A well-travelled friend of mine commented the other day that the more she travels, the less the number of things that “wow” her. It is true. Once you have seen Disney World, Disneyland will not wow you. Our mind adjusts quickly and pushes up the expectations from the world, to wow us a notch higher. It is the classic “I could get used to this “😊
Is this why older people are more boring and grumpier because nothing excites them anymore? Nothing fills them with wonder? A popular figure also commented that today we have the wonders of the world in our palm. The smart phone enables us to see the wonders of the world through its tiny screen. Panoramic videos of the Eiffel tower, the pyramids of Giza , the Gardens by the bay of Singapore, man made islands in the middle east…. Everything available to view at a click… so is the wonder going to be seized from us? Are we going to be jaded people because nothing excites us anymore? Are we going to be a “Meh” population that has seen too much?
But is finding Wonder an attitude? Is it something within us than outside us? Is it our ability to pause for a moment and pay attention to the daily joys that sometimes go by unnoticed? As cliched as they are , even amidst this pandemic, we are being introduced to new wonders – the joy of playing “scribblio” with the extended family online across three continents, discovering new joys of digital Mandala art, the joy of not wearing pants to work etc. New wonders are popping up constantly enticing us to notice, engage and indulge in them. So … are the wonders of the world truly exhaustible? or is it just our zest for life that is exhausted.
My grandmother lived to be 101 years old. While I have heard of many old people complain about their lives, my grandmother had an amazing attitude towards enjoying life. Even after she had a fall at 92, broke her leg and the doctors had consigned her to be bed ridden for the rest of her life, she bounced back and was mobile in six months and went on to move about independently almost for another decade. A real life wonder.
Just like the body can get used to an increased intake of sugar, calories, alcohol etc…. The mind can also become numb to simpler experiences as we rev it up for the next buzz. I think that is why we are increasingly seeing a gravitation towards movements like minimalism, simplifying, decluttering etc. Our excesses have gone beyond a limit and suddenly one day we realize that we need to simplify, pull back and cut out a lot of fluff for the simple things to wow us again.
This year, nature has done it for us. The pandemic. After being cooped up home 24/7, months on end, now a walk in the park, just staring at the clear blue skies from a hillock, a dip in the pool , are all looking like wonders that we are yearning for.