This morning, on my way to work, the van in front of me had this message vinyl-ed (is that even a verb?) on its rear window:
Never stop wondering!
It reminded me of a phrase from the book Sophie’s World, which says something about philosophers. Philosophers, it said, are very similar to children. When we’re children, especially during our first five years, we marvel at everything. I mean, look at them babies and how their eyes widen when they see a dog, or hear the first fart from their dad (yes, I can’t wait to do that to my child soon!). We do so because the world and everything around us is still new. By the time we reach six or seven, we’ve already got used to pretty much everything. In turn, we stop wondering.
We stop asking.
We get comfortable!
And this is a problem. In good measure, there’s nothing wrong with comfort – physical or mental. But too much of it will only strengthen our comfort-zone – and that can be dangerous. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about certainty and self-confidence… again, in good measure! No one’s been more correct than the person who first said: too much of anything, can be bad. Too much certainty, whether it’s your beliefs, opinion, or any other thing in general, will leave no space for wonder. Life is full of surprises, some of which you can plan for and most of which you will never see coming. And surprises are marvelous, mind you. The question is whether they will be Unexpected ones or Unwanted ones, and the more comfortable you are the more Unwanted they will be.
Don’t get comfortable!
When I left for Asia the first time, I was not convinced I was doing the right thing – on all levels. I remember myself sms-ing (is this become a verb, nowadays?) my brother and telling him I’m putting God to the test and we’ll have to see how it goes.
(but more on that here)
So look around yourself and wonder. Don’t stop asking, and question everything. That way you might discover something. Stand at the world and wonder at it like it were a laboratory and everything within needed to be tested.
After all, whoever told you that the more you’re stable the happier you’ll be: is wrong! Wonder, wonder and wonder. The less attached you are to your beliefs, plans and dogmas, the free-er you will be. And freedom is happiness.
Photo by denis harsch on Unsplash