I came across a group of Italians while on a hike along a river recently and the experience left quite an impression. Italians, as you know, tend to live life enthusiastically. This group was no exception. I let them walk ahead of me, which may have been a mistake given the enthusiastic arm waving that accompanied just about every sentence and foretold of a slow but entertaining pace. At any rate, at a certain point the main body of the group moved ahead of a mother and her young son.
The boy was absolutely mesmerized by the beauty of the forest and the river which ran through it. He had an iPad and was stopping every five or six steps to take a photo while repeating “Questo è spettacolare!” [This is spectacular]. It was so sweet. His love for what he was seeing was palpable and contagious, at least to me.
His mother, on the other hand, didn’t really share the same level of appreciation for what he was seeing and experiencing. Every time he stopped she would urge him onward, saying that they were falling behind. She eventually resorted to tugging his sleeve when he would stop to snap another photo, despite his protestations: “Ma mamma, questo è spettacolare!”
After seeing this I had to ask myself, “Do I encourage the wonder in others around me?” Sometimes wonder can be spoiled by a poorly timed joke, teasing or even failing to take note of and then enfold, protect, or encourage the experience another might be having.
Wonder is in such short supply in the world today. We should nurture its expression wherever possible, be it in our own hearts and minds or in those of another. Watch your world carefully today for those rare moments of unspoiled wonder and do your best to give them sanctuary. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by it!