My friend Seth Raphael shares some wisdom today on the TED Blog. A graphic (below) caught my attention, something he calls “The Chain of Wonder.”
I like the concept of “expectation violation.” So often we get into life routines that don’t violate anything – same old, same old. I’m convinced that a life worth living is a life that is constantly violating the status quo – not for violation’s sake, but to breakthrough into new levels of experience, awe, wonder, and revelation. And in breaking through, we can legitimately call others to new places of awe, wonder, and breakthrough.
But when expectations are violated, some people are not excited or positively motivated. They instead become fearful and suspicious. I think this describes much of religion – a fear response – a flight response – a call to circle the wagons. And fear coupled with Raphael’s next stage of obsession en masse perhaps describes religion’s darkest legacies.
Conversely, when an expectation violation is embraced with awe and wonder, I think it can make for a much healthier life, both individually and in one’s contribution to the larger global family. Call it spirituality or whatever, how we react to uncertainty defines much of who we are, and how we perceive others. Seth has a great handle on this and I encourage you to learn more about his work. As he says, “wonder never gets old.”