Keepin' On

"I figure I can either quit, or keep on going. I choose Keepin' On."

The Wonder of it All

I have started collecting wisdom.  I keep it in a folder in a small file cabinet in my office.  The reason I am collecting wisdom is that I plan to live to be very old.  When I reach some landmark age like ninety or a hundred, people will ask me how I did it.  Then I will open the folder, trot out some of my accumulated wisdom and enlighten them.  I figure it is good to be prepared.  Whoa! Excuse me while I put that previous sentence in my folder.

The Guinness Book-type guy on old age was Methuselah who lived to be nine hundred and sixty-nine, according to the Old Testament.  This means he got to call everybody “sonny” or “little lady” and get away with it.  Unfortunately, he didn’t leave us a lot of wisdom except maybe, “Don’t die.”

Years ago, back when I thought I was wise but really didn’t know squat, I heard my first old wise man story.  The article I was reading told of a man who was celebrating his ninetieth birthday. At the party in his honor people were asking him the, “How did you do it?” question.  His response was not about diet, exercise or smoking cigars.  He simply said, “I never lost the wonder of it.” That’s it.  Wonder.  Of people, places, things – of life.

Take a moment and let your mind come up with a list of other words that spring up from Wonder.  Here is mine: joy, excitement, mystery, discovery, curiosity, awe-struck and cool.  Okay, now let’s talk about your typical 21st century attitudes.  Less than Wonder, right?  Did you ever play “opposites?”  I say a word.  You say the opposite.  Up – down, day – night, government – organized.  So what is the opposite of wonder?  Disillusioned, cynical, bitter, tired?  How about “Wednesday?”

This regular hard-working day, smack in the middle of your average week, gets a lot grief these days. “Oh, man, it’s only Wednesday. I’ll never make it to the weekend!”  Unlike your glory days of Friday through Sunday, poor old Wednesday is dumped on as “hump” day. It is humiliated further by not even being pronounced the way it is spelled.

But wait!  Let us apply some Wonder and discover the Cool therein.  Applying wonder means to take your list of other words and let some them change a thing into something wonderful.  When I apply some of my list, like curiosity and discovery, I find a new way to look at this downtroddened day.

It turns out that Wednesday was originally called “Odin’s day.”  Odin was one of your big gods in Norse mythology.  Apparently, when people were shopping around to name days, someone decided to use the names of powerful characters, a practice we have, thankfully, stopped.  I mean does anybody really want to make a date for next Gatesday evening, or Bushday afternoon?  Now, what Odin was really famous for was – get this -trading one of his eyes for – wisdom!   Now there’s a day I can get into.  Wednesday – Wisdom – Wonder – Wow!

Your Keepin’ On Tip for the Day:

Never lose the wonder of it! (Even on a Wednesday)

About Jim Thomson

Husband, father, grandfather, counselor, and writer.

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