7 Wonders

Post by Taralee Hurff for the Kind Kindred series.


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Joy Garrison Wasson was an English teacher in Muncie, IN for over 30 years. I read a lesson she did with her class that resonated so deeply with me I was brought to tears. I cried heavy tears because I know how many people forget about the simple and what they may deem as ordinary things in their lives. I watch people and can see they have lost interest in really living and enjoying the amazing life they have been given. I am witness to so many who focus on the bad of each day instead of the good.

Ms. Wasson asked her students to name the 7 Wonders of the World. Most of her students replied with the following answers: Egypt’s Great Pyramids, The Great Wall of China, Taj Mahal, Grand Canyon, Panama Canal, The Empire State Building, and St. Peter’s Basilica. As she continued reading the responses Ms. Wasson noticed one student was not finished. This young lady said she could not decide on just 7 as there were so many to choose from, so she was asked to read hers aloud to see if the class could help her with the answer.

The following were her answers…
1. The ability to SEE
2. The ability to HEAR
3. The ability to TASTE
4. The ability to TOUCH
5. The ability to FEEL
6. The ability to LAUGH
7. The ability to LOVE

The class was silent.

Those 7 simple and ordinary things are actually 7 of the most beautiful gifts we are given as human beings. They are often overlooked and taken for granted. Our world has become very self-centered and materialistic, thus causing so many to miss out daily on these true 7 Wonders of the World.

The heavy tears I wept came from a place deep in my soul because I have watched a significant person in my life lose their interest in really living and enjoying their life. I have watched them overlook and dismiss those 7 Wonders the student in Ms. Wasson’s class listed. Even with all my best efforts to help this person emerge from this dark place, my soul sits lost yet filled with abundant prayer for them to find their own light again; to enjoy these 7 Wonders once more.

Can you imagine if not only this person but everyone took a moment to sit and reflect on these 7 Wonders?

1. The ability to SEE…
Wake up every day and truly see the dawn as the light of a new day. Have you taken the time to really see the blue sky or the gorgeous rose bush you walk by everyday on the way into work? What about really seeing the people you interact with every day (this includes the barista at Starbucks)?

2. The ability to HEAR…
Do you listen, I mean really become still and listen intently to the world around you? How many sounds do you miss each day – the buzz of a bee, a bird’s song, the quiet of a library, your favorite song on the radio, a stranger’s thank you for holding the door for them, the happy chatter in a school’s lunchroom?
What about listening with no intent? Listening without an interruption of checking the text message that just came through? Do you listen without running your current to-do list through your head? Do you listen without trying to plan what your response will be?

3. The ability to TASTE…
Sounds silly right? But is it? Imagine biting into a juicy peach and its juice dribbles down your chin. You quickly grab a napkin and as you wipe off your chin you savor that last sweet taste of summer. What about making your deceased Grandmother’s famous sauce? When you take that first taste you are immediately transported back to Grandma’s kitchen. Savor your bites and their tastes, they become memories.

4. The ability to TOUCH…
I think we can all relate to when a simple hug can make all the world’s problems disappear and, if only for that moment, we are at peace.
What about becoming a parent? You will never forget holding your baby for the first time.
An ordinary squeeze of the hand while listening to the doctor deliver scary test results can be the one thing that holds you together at that moment.
What about the comfort found in being greeted by wet, sloppy puppy kisses? Or sitting quietly on the couch petting your cat?

5. The ability to FEEL…
My mother feels every emotion with so much passion, yet I am not sure anyone ever truly knows how my father is feeling. What about you? Do you give yourself permission to feel – from the depths of your soul right through to your fingertips?
All too often our true feelings are shoved into a bottle that is being shaken and by the time the cap is taken off and the “fizz of feelings” shoots out all over the kitchen, we are just trying to clean up the mess rather than experience the emotion.
Why do you think Pharrell Williams song “Happy” was such a craze? Because when we are feeling joy and happiness we exude positive energy and a light that is contagious, so not only do we feel good but others feel good too!
Allow yourself to not apologize for any of your feelings but embrace them and learn from them – both the good and bad. Feel in the moment or during a quiet reflection.

6. The ability to LAUGH…
Let’s be honest here. What is better than experiencing a hearty belly laugh; the kind that leaves you breathless with tears running out of your eyes. The smiles that come with laughter are some of the biggest and brightest you will see.

7. The ability to LOVE…
Love is such a complicated and yet simple thing. Love is a free gift that you can give someone. Love can be felt through the smallest gesture and those small gestures are what can keep the spark in marriages, keep the lines of communication open in relationships, keep the monsters out from under the bed, help someone feel safe, and most importantly let someone know they matter. Love is a glue that binds families, friends, communities and nations.
Love can be seen, heard, tasted, and felt. Love is a basic need and carries an almost tangible energy. Hearing the words “I Love You,” 3 simple words, can change a moment, a day or a lifetime.

I challenge you to write these 7 Wonders on a piece of paper and carry them with you. Think about them. Take a hard look if they are a part of your daily life, if you are sharing them and if you are excepting them. Slow down and enjoy the simple and ordinary gifts that are actually extraordinary.

We all are fighting battles the other doesn’t know about, be kind.

 

Taralee received a dual Bachelor’s Degree in Clinical/Counseling Psychology and Criminal Justice from Moravian College. She received her Special Education Teacher certification from DeSales University. Taralee is a NJ certified Teacher of the Handicapped, and has been working in the home and school settings for over 15 years. Taralee is currently President of the Board of Trustees for the Southern Regional New Jersey Early Intervention Collaborative, she is serving in her fourth year as a Board member. 
Taralee’s most important job is raising her three creative and inquisitive children (ages 9, 7, and 4) in Southern NJ. 
Taralee’s book “100 Things To Do Before You Are 10” was published in April 2014. 
Please visit her Facebook page or send an e-mail for ordering information.

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