We teach children how to measure and how to weigh. We fail to teach them how to revere, how to sense wonder and awe. -Harold Kushner
I try very hard to teach my students to love life, to wonder at life and living, to look at and appreciate all the amazing things around us all the time. I’m unsure how successful I am at it, but I try. We’re not surrounded by resources simply waiting for us to exploit and profit from them; instead, we’re surrounded by beautiful things merely waiting for us to grow wise enough to see, feel, and appreciate them.
Of course, I also have to teach my students the material we need to cover because of the state standards by which we’re bound–I’m contractually obligated to do so. But I don’t want my students to lose the chance to do readings that point out the marvelous sides of life; I don’t want them to leave my class without at least being exposed to some of the more magnificent parts of the lives we’re leading and the world we’re living in. I have a wonderful opportunity to share those concepts, and won’t squander it.
If you have any influence over any children, it would be very kind of you to help teach them to wonder at the world, at the beautiful things that surround us all the time. If you do that, you’re giving them the gift of awareness. If you can teach them to sense wonder and awe, you’re giving them a hint as to our true position in this world–as active participants in a marvelous dance that can be full of wonderful things. These beautiful things can help us through our troubled times, whereas if we see them as dull and ordinary, they’ll more than likely never help us at all.
We don’t honestly know what the “mind behind the universe” actually is, of course, but we do know that whatever the creative force is or was, it did a fantastic job. Just viewing the stars each night is a true miracle in itself, and our lives are much richer when we recognize it as such instead of not noticing it at all. Let’s teach our children the power of wonder and awe so that they can have a perspective of their lives that’s rich and wonderful. It’s the least we can do for them.
Questions to consider:
Do you see the world as an awesome and wonderful place or dull place? Which perspective do you pass on to young people?
How many people encourage young people to feel awe when they regard the world we live in?
What would be some of the benefits of seeing the world as an awesome and wonderful place?
For further thought:
I share Einstein’s affirmation that anyone who is not lost in rapturous awe at the power and glory of the mind behind the universe “is as good as a burnt out candle.”-Madeleine L’Engle