There was once a time, when we were kids, that beautiful things amazed us. Shiny lights, fireworks, porcelain dolls, huge trees, ferocious animals, the list is endless. As children, we would watch everything with a sense of wonder and incredulity. As we grew, it is only natural that we lose some of that feeling. However, I feel that this generation particularly lacks the sense of wonder. Everything is seen with a blasé attitude. In fact, they are more cynical than ever. In a time of great scientific growth, 5G wireless internet, new knowledge of black holes, pulsars, etc. why have we become so jaded?
We recently had a family reunion and many of our grandparents, uncles and aunts were present. As with all such events, the topic soon deviated into reminiscence. As I heard their stories of simple childhood explorations and their first time experiencing technology, I was enthralled by their feeling of shock, fear and amazement. An elderly uncle described his first experience in the cinema hall. He spoke about his first time at the talkies (the talking movies as they were called). It was a mythological film and he described how everyone got down on their knees to pray when the image of the lord came on the screen. Another grand uncle spoke about the first time he saw an automobile, it was during a parade by the erstwhile Nizam of Hyderabad. There were many more such stories doing the rounds. What saddened me, however, was my lack of such experiences.
Do not get me wrong here; there were many great innovations and new creations in our generation too. The personal computer, mobile phones, smartphones, internet, Wi-Fi is just a few examples of the great scientific breakthroughs that we have seen. Yet, I could not conjure up one memorable event that truly amazed me. I realised that I took all of this for granted. All these major, life-changing gadgets were just another gadget that would become obsolete soon enough. I refused to get excited over the mobile phone since the smartphone was just around the corner. A personal computer did not excite me as a laptop and then a tablet was available.
With this blasé attitude, I have realised that I have lost out on many extraordinary landmarks. Moreover, with this attitude, I started to feel old and tired. I felt that I am unable to keep track of all the developments. I felt like one of those obsolete gadgets. I realised that I, urgently, need to change my attitude. Lucky for me that scientific progress doesn’t stop, so, I can still find something new to fascinate me.
If you have been on the same road as me, then wake up. It is not too late yet. Make an effort to gain back your childlike wonder. Open your eyes to all the fabulous sights and sounds around you. Start feeling young again.