What is the principle of knowledge? Plato and Aristotle had no doubts: what gives rise to knowledge is wonder.
The reference to wonder is significant, which is always something unexpected, sudden, unexpected. The astonishment aroused by wonder cannot be foreseen, anticipated, or it would not be so. Knowledge, on the other hand, seems to have to do with what is predictable, stable, and achievable with methodical commitment and constant dedication.
It is in this dialectic, in the incessant tension between the two opposite poles, between wondering and knowing, that the human experience of knowledge lives. The point of contact is the question. Wonder raises a question. Knowing is the continuous human desire to get to the ultimate causes, to the why of things.
We live in an age where everything works very fast. We are always connected and we can obtain any information instantly, living under the banner of everything and immediately. We have become bulimic on information, on images, and on immediate results, and this compromises the possibility of lingering in wonder, of feeling amazement, passion, and ecstasy in front of the small joys of life.
Whoever is no longer able to be amazed or surprised is as if had died.
There was a time in our life when every experience was a source of wonder. We were going to discover a completely new world, full of magic, of scary but also extraordinary things. Growing up we faced the universe of human relationships, with its load of joys and sorrows. We have grown into adults. As we took control of our life, as we decided what we wanted to do or be, the wonder drowsed. The day we were more afraid of a tax assessment than of getting lost in a cave, we exchanged the sense of wonder with that of reality.
But we can win back the former without losing the latter. We can restore original freshness to our lives, not by mimicking a return to the infantile state, but by learning from the experience of those who have managed to keep the flame of wonder burning throughout their lives. We can be functional and aware adults and at the same time marvel at the blue sky above us.
Amazement goes hand in hand with curiosity to live, so we often associate it with vitality, because it makes us wake up from a sleeping world. It is precisely when man begins to think that he begins life, before, we just limit ourselves only to exist.
Therefore, those who are unable to be surprised, nor to be surprised, live a flat life, an infinite sequence of habits and repeated actions. Almost a life not worth living.
We should live every day as if we had to tell someone about it. It is a small and harmless little game that however helps a lot to live to the maximum of our potential, making all possible experiences, seizing all the opportunities, and above all trying to overcome their fears.
In fact, it is precisely fear that blocks us in that emotionless stalemate. It is often said that the goal of life is to be happy, but we will never be able to be happy without facing our weaknesses. It is important to improve yourself day after day to get closer and closer to utopian ‘happiness’.
In any case, in life, there cannot be only positive emotions, because even in that case it would not be fully lived. The bitterness of a defeat and sadness can teach us much more than a victory.
We cannot win without failing first. Rather, we must always try to remain positive, transforming failures into experiences and not letting ourselves be disheartened by disappointments, never giving up. But, above all, to give meaning to life, banality and superficiality must be banished, living in research, amazement, and wonder.