Prepare To Be Amazed
That simple statement has been on my mind off and on over the last couple of days. I read a brief article that talked about some signs on the highway with that thought. It is something to think about. We are all so used to the notion that we ‘know’ most things. We have done something a certain way and so there must be nothing more to learn about it. We just put those things on automatic pilot. Just get it done. Just go through it. Am I among the few that find the road to a new destination about twice as long as the road back home again? Why would that be? There is a new route I am not used to. There are new things to see along the way. This new route offers something that attracts my constant or near constant attention. On the way back, no matter how interesting, I have “seen everything” and there is no need to place any intense focus on anything except getting back home again.
Is this the same kind of process we use when we get something new? For whatever reason, we get it. Maybe it just radiated until we had to have it. Maybe it represented something intense and intangible to us. Regardless of the motivation, we finally have it in our hands. Soon, the sparkle and specialness are gone. We “know” all of its tricks pretty quickly. Now the mind does it’s best to prepare us for yet another adventurous pursuit. The brain likes novelty. Our egos are just big enough to inform us that we know ‘all about something’. Once we get to that place in our thinking, it is hard to stop and really look at something we have seen before and really look at it again for something we might have missed.
Prepare to be amazed. That statement is asking us to look again and anticipate that just maybe we don’t know everything about anything, really. There is a world of new things to learn. When I was a child my family traveled to Washington State every summer to visit relatives. We would pass through the Dakotas depending on our route. My brother and I never really appreciated those states leaning as they do on the much more geographically spectacular (to our eyes, anyway) states of Wyoming and Montana. We basically got through the hot and monotonous Dakotas. It wasn’t until many trips had come and gone that I took a walk down a Dakota country road one evening and noticed the small, delicately pastel colored prairie flowers that were everywhere. How could that be? I had glanced up from my book every now and then as the miles rolled on by and the landscape actually looked tan and grayish. These quietly beautiful little flowers in soft pinks, pale blues, gentle yellows and warm whites blended together with sage green to produce a soft gray blur when we drove by them. How many times had I looked there and never saw anything? Before you spend one more hour presuming you know everything about something, stop and take another look.