I saw Wonder Woman for the third time this weekend. Was it the best movie I’ve ever seen? Nope. However, it has messages that speak loudly into my “today” and those messages keep me coming back for more.
My take-away from my latest viewing? Retain your wonder. Looking into the eyes of the young ladies with me, I saw wonder. What is that, specifically? A feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable. The excitement in their eyes as they shared what inspired them about what they saw brought me joy. In this technological age, we rarely take time to look into each other’s eyes to see what’s not being said. (Partially because most folks are looking down at their devices!)
Where has the wonder gone? In these, the days of having so much information at our fingertips, we’ve grown impatient and are easily dissatisfied. We use search engines to figure out how things work and see what others said about something we’re considering for purchase. We make important decisions based upon others’ reviews, not our gut. And, we miss out on the wonder that comes from taking chances and exposure to new things.
When Diana (aka, Wonder Woman) left her familiar place, she was full of curiosity. While strikingly beautiful, intelligent and possessing immense strength and ability, she retained her wonder-she was open and present. With that, she also remained confident in her ability to affect change in this new world. To those in the “know,” she appeared naïve. That’s one potential pitfall in retaining your wonder.
Also, some outcomes will be contrary to your original perception and the realization of truth can bring pain. But does it pay to extinguish hope and predict disappointment, rather than be surprised by it? Perhaps I’m as naïve as she seemed, but I’ve grown weary of anticipating the worst and being surprised by better. That’s a defense mechanism fueled by mistrust and faithlessness, and I’m determined to resist it.
What can we gain by retaining wonder? I believe wonder allows us to be less ‘battle weary.’ To constantly anticipate opposition uses defensive energy before there’s a battle. There’s a posture that accompanies self-defense that’s off-putting in the absence of a fight. (Think: spending time with someone who always has their guard up!)
Wonder Woman wasn’t marred by the cares of the world or the after-effects of war; therefore, she was open. She believed in the humanity of people while remaining hopeful and optimistic about human potential. We can mimic that by maintaining a faith position, despite everything going on around us. When presented with options, we can choose respect. Where possible, we can assume positive intent. We can also choose to make peace our practice and hope our habit, so we know when to resist, versus when to fight.
That’s the beauty of wonder; a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something unexpected. We open the door to restoration, reconciliation, and renewed hope when we don’t attempt to predetermine outcomes.
Retain your wonder. Be a “Wonder Woman.”