207. Wonderment

(yes, “wonderment” is actually a word. I checked)

It’s no news that I’m a sucker for pretty sights. Pretty girls, pretty landscapes, pretty things – I love them all. It’s what makes me a terrible person to watch a movie or go on vacation with. I’ll be so busy taking in the sights, I would be completely disengaged from conversation, and I would have to be dragged to the next point of interest.

(before anyone asks, no, I do not have a thing for pretty boys. That’s the only exception)

The last 3 holidays I went were, in reverse chronological order: Malacca, Bekok, and Cameron Highlands. Two of those I went with friends, and the trip to Bekok was with family as a mandatory part of the Chinese New Year celebrations. During the Bekok visitation, it was far too hot to go anywhere. So I spent the bulk of my time there catching up on reading The Dark Tower. The ones I went with friends, on the other hand, went pretty much how every holiday with friends would go: hopping from one place/event to another so quickly there’s hardly any time to spend in one moment.

It troubles me. I’d like to spend an extended time in one place to take in the environments, but most would like to hurry on to the next exciting thing. I’d like to take some time to bask in wonderment of the beauty all around, but most don’t have the patience to put up with that.

(just like how I don’t have patience for people who can’t say what they need to quickly and clearly. All’s fair, I guess)

So yup, I’m a terrible person to go on vacation with. Most times, I just resign myself to going along with the itinerary. On one occasion, I was asked what would I like to do. I said I’d like to be left alone to go walk around.

I think they spent the rest of the trip wondering in what way had they pissed me off.

But I subscribe to the thought that one should take time to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us. It makes the world a much more magical place to live in. There are those who complain that development has robbed the world of its natural beauty – but if you just stop and look at the highways and skyscrapers that we’ve built: at their shape and design; at their colossal size… I’m willing to bet you’ll be at least a little bit amazed at what we’ve achieved.

When you’re walking to your car after an event at night, look up and see the stars. Their light has traveled for millions of years to reach your eyes – it’d be a real pity if you just passed them by. Look at the moon, pale and yellow in the sky, and know that you’re looking at a giant piece of rock floating in space millions of kilometers away. Look up into darkness and, for a moment, realize how incredibly deep and vast that darkness is, and how incredibly small earth is.

When you’re going to work, look at the tiles beneath your feet. People designed these things. Look upon the architecture of the building at which you work, and know that it is somebody’s dream come true. When you’re stuck in a traffic jam, realize that you’re in an automated machine that can potentially run 10 times faster than the fastest human being, a metal beast that runs on liquid exploding dinosaurs.

Think about these things. Be left in wonderment. And know that the world, despite its shortcomings, is beautiful.

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