It was Albert Einstein, arguably the greatest physicist ever who stated that he had no special talent.
In his own words, he said, “I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious.” Despite all his achievements in furthering our understanding of the universe, Einstein believed that his success was down to his curiosity and not his understanding of maths or physics.
While the reality is that his achievements were a combination of the two, his belief that curiosity served him better than his scientific background is not without merit.
As children, we are constantly curious about the world around us. We ask endless questions about anything and everything. We have a thirst for knowledge, to understand what we see around us.
As we get older, we lose this curious nature. The questions become less frequent, the wonder at the world around us becomes an acceptance of the sights and smells we encounter.
In short, we lose our childlike wonder of the world the older we get.
New experiences become a rarity and we slip into comfort zones and routines which forbid us from regaining the wonder we looked upon the world when we were children.
This is a shame. We are here for a short time and we are gone for a long time. To enjoy the world around us is the least we should be doing.
I have spent the past few days travelling around Scotland. Despite having family from there and living in England for the majority of my life, this is the first time I have visited Scotland.
It sounds ridiculous, but for whatever reason, I hadn’t got around to visiting the country before. Now that I am here, I can’t believe I didn’t visit earlier!
I knew Scotland was a country full of beautiful sights, but I didn’t realise just how beautiful it was until I visited! The scenery is drop-dead gorgeous and every road has something along it that is worth seeing.
I have found myself staring out of the window of the car and admiring the views more than normal. If it was a normal car journey, I would have barely registered what was out of the window as I was driving past. This is one of the main reasons I enjoy travelling.
It snaps you out of your stupor and shows how magnificent the world is!
It’s incredible that we don’t appreciate just how beautiful the world we live in is. We only have one place to live, but we take it for granted. We become complacent about the world around us and don’t admire the beauty that is all around us.
It is a travesty that we become more closed off and less adventurous the older we get. We all grow up with dreams of exploring the planet and discovering new lands, but for whatever reason, a lot of us never realise these dreams.
We end up settling down and putting our dreams on the backburner. While there is nothing wrong with settling down, we all have to do it at some point, it should not come at the cost of losing our sense of wonder.
The world is full of endless possibilities. To live without enjoying the world around us is to not live at all.
Regain Your Wonder
I remember when I was teaching English in Spain, the children that I taught were a bundle of fun. They were also amazed by some of the simplest things.
I used to use origami to teach English, as it was a great way of teaching new worlds while keeping the class entertaining, which stopped the children from losing interest.
Whenever we created a new origami piece they would howl in amazement and look at me like I had conjured something out of thin air!
They were in a constant state of wonder!
While this is unlikely to be the case for most of us now, the price of growing old is a growing sense of familiarity with the world, we can still learn a lot from children.
They see the joy in things that we have long since forgotten. If you take your child into a park their senses will be sent into overdrive. They will be running around and chatting about all the different animals they can see in the park.
The ants on the floor, the birds in the trees, the colour of the grass. They are constantly enraptured by what they see around them. For the majority of us, a trip to the park would be a routine affair. We would barely notice any of what the child saw because we have become desensitised to the world around us.
No matter how old, or how much of the world we see, there will always be something that we haven’t seen before. Something we haven’t experienced.
Instead of becoming more disillusioned the older we get, we should remember that the world we live in is an incredible place. Like Einstein, we should make curiosity and wonder a central part of our lives.
By doing so, we open ourselves to possibilities we may otherwise pass up.