“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.”Socrates
I am not a believer.
I do not fool myself into thinking I know everything or that I am never mistaken or biased, but on the whole, I make a point not to be gullible. I require evidence. I want to know the source.
In my time as a self-described skeptic, I’ve seen many people use reason as an excuse to be rude or dismissive of how other people make meaning in their lives. Indeed, I have been the person brashly waving away worldviews that have been generations in the making. But I was wrong.
What lenses do you wear?
This is not to say that there is no harm done when opinion or tradition is treated as fact. But the simple truth is that we’re all trying to find our way through the weird, wild lives of consciousness we’re all leading. We’re drawn to the lenses that make the most sense to us, from the profoundly skeptical to the utterly supernatural and the multitude in between.
There are harmful lenses that cause us to give into the worst parts of our nature, the ones that deny the full humanity of others. All of us carry at least a few of those harmful lenses with us, though the amount they blur our thinking varies and can be altered for better or worse. We judge others for how they look to us. Race, class, gender, ability, age, country, politics and so on. What do we assume we know?
The same is true for the tenets of wonderlust. We judge what others are curious about, their relationships, how they express their creativity, how they move through the world, and live their life. But this is a mistake.
Wonderlust thrives when we are true to our passions and allow others to be true to theirs. That’s how we build the best world. So, how do we keep our wonder alight?
We choose to make priorities of our relationships, our creativity, and the world around us.
To keep your wonder, in spite of personal circumstance and even when the world feels like one big dumpster fire, you must find a practice that gives you the freedom to choose what matters and commit yourself to it.
That will mean different things to different people at different times. For me, right now, it means healing my relationship with myself and my body through yoga, meditation, and inquiry. It means making time for my writing in a way I never have before. And it means appreciating the creatures and wind gusts around me while staying in tune with the ailing Anthropocene.
Through this series, my aim is to help others find and stay in touch with the source of their wonder. Our vitality is vital—for the wonder and the wary.