I hopped in my car a week or so ago to drive the three hundred and forty or so miles to meet a very important person. He’s not famous and he’s certainly not wealthy. But he made a huge effort to be a part of my life. And I am ever so grateful.
He brought me a gift that I’d lost a long time ago. Something I didn’t even know I needed. Over the years, through pain, struggle, loss and just plain busyness I’d lost the most important parts of life. The sense of wonder and hope had pretty much abandoned me. I had all I needed and I no longer cared for any of it.
This amazing person, who brought all these things back to me is my grandson. He’s less than three weeks old today. And while I only spent a couple of hours with him over the three days I visited him and his family, I did put in a fair amount of time in the presence of my granddaughter.
She’s no less a VIP. With boundless energy, a most engaging demeanor and oh yea, my blue eyes, she’s every bit a gift from the gods. These two are magical creatures, in the words of my fellow grandparent, Ann Litts. And that’s exactly the right phrase for them. They set one’s priorities straight. Although some of us are a bit thicker than others, so it takes a little longer.
The difference is all me. When this beautiful young lady was born I was a self-absorbed, depressed, overworked and overwhelmed cog in the machine of our culture. I didn’t have time. For her, for wonder, even for love. It took the loss of my job, a couple months of reinvention, and the birth of a second grandchild to shake me from my torpor.
Money is not going to make you happy. Achievement is not going to make you happy. And no, a couple of kids or grandchildren aren’t going to make you happy either. The secret to success and happiness is much simpler than all that.
If you want to be happy and healthy, cultivate your sense of wonder.
Wonder contains hope. I used to think science had everything figured out. Do this, according to these rules and you will obtain a known result. There was no room for the unexpected or the unknown.
But science doesn’t have it all figured out. Not even close. Science is just nipping around the edges of the quantum world. And while there are a lot of efforts being made in the world of consciousness, it may as well be magic for all we know about it. There’s plenty of room for wonder. You just have to look with the eyes of a child again.