Thursday, 9 June 2016

Living with Wonder

Boredom is the curse of life and wonder is the cure.

Why do I like working with young people? Largely it's their capacity for wonder. Their ability to see possibilities where adults see barriers, and their belief in magic and miracles that don't need to be explained or understood (at least in some scientific way) but are just enjoyed and marvelled at.

Adults, through the extra responsibilities and through the pressures of work, largely lose the wonder they had as a child. Things are explained to them, or if they cannot be explained, then ignored by them. Opportunities for wonder are cut or not taken (there are opportunities all the time and in all places, not just at the weekend, but adults often forget this, especially radio presenters who spend all week counting down to the next weekend on everyone else's behalf). Adults who try to continue exploring the world or have adventures, rather than try to explain and organise and prioritise are often told to 'settle down' and 'get a proper job'. Yet this is often what kills wonder and introduces boredom.

From a place of boredom people try to recapture the fun and exciting parts of life, but generally in the wrong places. We do things in an effort to feel something again, but can end up hurting ourselves more.

To be allowed to wonder and to take time to do so, is really the only cure. Keeping busy can lead to exhaustion, but exploring mysteries can fill the void we often feel.

Here are some things that have filled me with wonder this year:
   A terrified child pushing himself off the zip wire
   The generosity of a friend
   The effects of spring:

   This view:
   The stories of soldiers on D-Day (especially the story of Pegasus Bridge, which I read recently).
   The faith of millions of people throughout history (as I also read about recently) often leading to persecution and sometimes death.
   And that I get to live and work here (not for everyone, I know, but perfect for me):
Don't let boredom bring you down. Keep on being amazed, wondering and enjoying life. (I'm still working on that!)

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