Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Finding Awe In Children

The Fear in Awe

When we become parents for the first time we experince awe in all its glory. The reverence of something greater than ourselves. The admiration of a living miracle. Also, the fear about everything connected to becoming a parent... fear that we won't know how to handle the baby, fear that we aren't

Papa Green Bean,
Papa Green Bean instilling the awe of fear into his dad!

ready for the responsibility that comes with taking a helpless human being into our home, fear that we have given up our freedom, fear that our lives have changed forever and not sure whether it is for the better, fear that the baby won't love us. There can be fear in awe.

 n., v. awed, aw•ing. 
an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, or wonder produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful, etc.

The Community in Awe 

I recently read an inspiring New York Times article, Why Do We Experience Awe? It explained:

 "Awe is the ultimate “collective” emotion, for it motivates people to do things that enhance the greater good. Through many activities that give us goose bumps — collective rituals, celebration, music and dance, religious gatherings and worship — awe might help shift our  focus from our narrow self-interest to the interests of the group to which we belong. 

We found that awe helps bind us to others, motivating us to act in collaborative ways that enable strong groups and cohesive communities."  

This is an extremely powerful force when it does indeed do this!


The Humanity in Awe

When a professor picked up a student's fussing child in the middle of his lecture and continued teaching without missing a beat, the  picture went viral. He was declared a Feminist hero - Professor holds students child. His own explaination of the overwhelmingly

Awe of humanity
The awe of integrity - Go Grandpa Prof!

positive reaction was, “I think the photo went viral in a world with so much inhumanity — ISIS, corruption, Ferguson, and so on — and people are looking for symbols of decency, humanity, caring, integrity,” People were awe-struck by his sensitivity to a baby and mother, she being a part of his community, a student in his class at his University. It was also a show of positive fathering and grandfatherly love.


The Wisdom in Awe

Awe is a feeling that we cherish. Much of our life can become drudgery in day-to-day chores. The True Measure of Wisdom by Emerson can help change our perspective... 

“To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom.” 

An attitude to live in the present can bring greater contentment.  Simply obtaining a mindset that finds solace in fear of the unknown, of our parenting skills and of how our child will turn out is a step towards living the true richness of life as it is meant to be lived. 

Living in the awe of the moment, Papa Green Bean
Papa Green Bean
Papa Green Bean with his daughter, Anna, (I still have that shirt).