The Capacity for Surprise

“Our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.” ― Samuel Johnson

One of the defining characteristics of youth – whether one is young in body or young at heart – is the capacity for surprise. That capacity can weaken over time, especially if you take the attitude that you’ve “seen it all” or if you ascribe to the belief that there is “nothing new under the sun”, but it can strengthen, too, if you make a habit of identifying the novelty in each and every new moment.

Each and every present moment is a unique configuration of factors which will never repeat themselves. This is as true at the atomic level as it is at the level of circumstance. To harden your heart to surprise is to deny the very nature of life itself.

Life is perpetually changing and eternally new, despite human beings’ relentless attempt put the new wine of life into old bottles. This does not change life itself, but it certainly does change ones’ perception of life. Life need not be a dreary wasteland devoid of the sparks of surprise and the warm glow of gladness, in fact, life ought to be exactly the opposite – a constant, wonderful revelation of newness at every turn.

Try to look at your world through new eyes today. Act is if (and it does!) life depends upon it.

2 thoughts on “The Capacity for Surprise

  1. Thank you for the clarity regarding eternal youth! I take note to be alert to the commands of the old bottle that looks to keep things comfortably familiar especially in the light of the “Christmas season.” Choosing to SEE WITH AWE, something new at hand, is key. Again your blog has opened a window for the fresh winds of eternity to refresh our souls allowing for a new, shared experience of life.


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