PHOTOS: Sculptures

Columnist Part Shiralkar argues that it is important to stay in touch with your curious side and to remember to experience "wonder."

Every morning when you wake up and get to work, study or whatever it is that constitutes the better part of your day, a small portion of your active brain gets locked into — for lack of a better phrase — the daily grind. It is important to stay in touch with your curious side, and not for very complicated reasons.

I decided to write about wonder because after a considerable amount of time, I found music that made my head bounce anew.

Finding new music, or simply new genres, that you learn to love is one of the many culminations of wonder. 

“We wonder at all extraordinary and uncommon objects, at all the rarer phenomena of nature, at meteors, comets, eclipses, at singular plants and animals, and at everything, in short, with which we have before been either little or not at all acquainted," philosopher and economist Adam Smith said. "And we still wonder, though forewarned of what we are to see.”

English is a fascinating language; it has very fitting words for human emotion.

Let us then consider wonder to be part of an emotional spectrum that could range from a simple “oh” to unparalleled feelings of astonishment. People visiting the Louvre for the first time no doubt are awestruck, and awe is possibly another intense form of wonder. Seeing the Mona Lisa smile, too, is nothing short of wonderful.

Wonder is an emotion not partial to just human beings.

Primatologist Jane Goodall noticed a male chimp gesturing excitedly at a beautiful waterfall when she was in Gombe observing chimpanzees. He perched on a nearby rock and gaped at the flowing torrents of water for a good 10 minutes. Goodall and her team saw such responses on several occasions. I have seen my friends’ dogs react similarly to new toys or experiences.

Philosopher Sir Francis Bacon was not as keen on wonder as I thought. He called it “broken knowledge” and posited that wonder is an antecedent to knowledge.

I don’t necessarily agree with this sentiment, because the music I stumbled upon contributed less to my knowledge than to my sense of awe.

In a sense, however, it did make me realize that I am too focused on getting through the day while not stepping back occasionally and taking a moment to breathe. So maybe he was right. I can only wonder.

But anyway, that “wonder” on its own is a fascinating emotion that has not escaped people throughout history and — as is evident — throughout nature. Be open to new experiences and have fun. At the end, here’s the track that got me thinking hard enough to write a whole column.

Opinion Policies

Opinions expressed in columns and letters are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Daily or organizations with which the author(s) are associated. 

Feedback policy: The Daily encourages discussion but does not guarantee its publication. We reserve the right to edit or reject any letter or online feedback. The goal of the opinion section is to spark civil public discourse by publishing opinions based on facts that articulate an argument. The merit of a piece's ability to further public discourse, among other factors, will be considered when determining if a piece is publication worthy. 

Letter to the Editor Submission Link

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.