- awe /aw/
- humility /hyoo-MIL-i-tee/
- uninhabited /un-in-HAB-i-tid /
- information overload /in-fer-MEY-shuhn oh-ver-LOHD/
- unknown /uhn-NOHN/
[noun] – a feeling of great respect sometimes mixed with fear or surprise
I gaze at the pond in awe.
[noun] – the feeling or attitude that you have no special importance that makes you better than others; lack of pride
Humility is a lack of pride.
[adjective] – An uninhabited place has no people living in it
The island is presently uninhabited.
[noun] – a situation in which you receive too much information at one time and cannot think about it in a clear way
The greater the amount of data, the greater the risk of information overload.
[noun] – what is not familiar or known
The best thing to do when entering unknown territory is to smile.
He was standing at the foot of Yr Wyddfa, formerly known as Snowdon, in north Wales, about a week after his father’s death. He was overcome with emotion that day as he realized his mortality. But at that very moment, letting his thoughts wander up into the sky and being made aware of how small he was seemed cathartic—almost fulfilling. When we come across something enormously larger than ourselves, we may experience a range of feelings, including awe, wonder, and humility. It can be easy to overlook the fact that there is still a large and mysterious universe out there that has yet to be discovered. Perhaps this is due to the fact that so much of life is now conducted on a smartphone screen a little larger than our hands. What was once uninhabited and wild in the 18th century is now bustling with tourists or easily found via a quick Google search. Or perhaps it’s just that we’ve given up looking. After all, the present is already too complicated due to information overload, advancing technology, injustice, global warming, and other factors.
According to psychologist Frank Keil, wonder is what motivates creativity and research when facing the unknown. It raises the questions “how, what, where, when, and what if” about us. One of the strongest drives we humans possess cannot be taken away from us. With these viewpoints, we can approach the terrifying unknowns of our time with reverence and attention, strengthened by the combined wisdom and creative force of humanity.
- When do you feel small? Could you tell me more about it?
- What are your questions about the universe that don’t have any answers yet?
- If you were Richard Fisher, would you feel the same? Why or why not?
- Do you agree that wonder is what motivates creativity?
- What is one characteristic that humans have that is needed for more discoveries? Please elaborate on your answer.