Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Opinion

February 21, 2014

Childhood wonder doesn’t have to fade

GLASGOW — Why does childhood wonder often disappear once we are adults? Is it because we let it? Or is it more complex than that? Those are probably hypothetical questions. But I’m on a mission to look at the world a little more like a child would.

When I was in second or third grade, I went on a short hot air balloon ride. A relative who drove me to the ride didn’t want to ride with me because she was too nervous. She loved to look at photography taken from high places, like mountaintops and airplanes, but she didn’t want to see that kind of view for herself. Her “wonder” was trumped by anxiousness.

A photo was taken of me right before the balloon took off into the cold, early morning sky. I looked like I had just won the lottery.

So, did I enjoy the balloon ride? Yes. It’s a fond memory I’ll carry with me until the end of time. I wasn’t scared one bit. I just lived in the moment and enjoyed viewing the landscape in a way I had never done before. I am working on cultivating that same attitude again – enjoying the experience instead of worrying about what could happen next.

Also, as I was growing up, I often played tourist in my own town, sometimes even in my own backyard. You don’t have to be hundreds of miles up in the air to experience wonder.

Get out of your rut if you are in one. Renew your childhood wonder and passion. Don’t just go home from work and watch television just because you are used to doing that day in and day out. There’s a big world out there to explore and enjoy. Some of it you can enjoy without spending a penny. Instead of browsing the Internet aimlessly before you go to bed, go outside and stargaze. Instead of catching up on the latest celebrity gossip when you wake up in the morning, watch the sun rise at the best spot in town, even if you end up staying in your pajamas. Even just take a different route to and from work than you usually do. Every day doesn’t have to be the same.

I’m not saying there are things of which we should not be cautious. Of course, we should be. But if we as adults are too cautious, then we miss out on what life truly has to offer.

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