Wonder – A feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.
The typical image which comes to mind when I envision wonder is that of a child, eyes aglow, faced shaped by amazement, mouth open, perhaps speechless. Wonder, however, is not limited to children although, as noted by Dasee Berkowitz, “children have a natural ability to be awestruck.” She ties this ability to the limited nature of their life experiences. Her reasoning suggests that one reason adults find it difficult to experience wonder is that we have become jaded, a state resulting from age and/or experience (having had too much of something). But when we live without wonder we are living from a position of deficiency. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel* notes that awe (a synonym of wonder) “enables us … to sense in small things the beginning of infinite significance, to sense the ultimate in the common and the simple: to feel in the rush of the passing the stillness of the eternal.” We need wonder in our lives.
How do you believe we can regain it?
*Cited by Dasee Berkowitz