I heard a story this week that had me wondering if I ever snuffed out the young inquisitive light of exploration. The storyteller explained that when she was a child, she found out for herself the effects of centrifugal force. She had placed a basket full of Easter eggs on a rope she had strung in a fashion like the gondola ride at Disneyland. Having grown tired of the gondola, she began swinging the rope and the gondola. She made it go higher and higher until eventually the basket continued over the top of the rope. Not a single egg dropped out of the basket. She had thought the eggs would fall out so she tried again. This time she would swing in the opposite direction. With the same result, the basket flipped over the top of the rope and not a single egg found its way to the floor. She was amazed at this discovery. So impressed was she that she called her father to the room and displayed her over the top find. He was not nearly as excited as she was, expressing irritation at the interruption. The storyteller was crestfallen.
Most everything we encounter in our lives has been discovered by someone else first. No matter how incredible, there is a great chance our lives will not uncover anything brand new. This, however, does not relieve us of our responsibility to continually seek out new knowledge and new discoveries. Our lives are so much more fulfilling when there is more to them than just the daily grind. What better way to add meaning to life than to continue developing as adults.
Knowing individual discoveries are likely to be less than astounding new revelations means we have significant responsibility to make every discovery our children make seem as meaningful as possible. New discoveries fuel the desire they will have to continue to learn. We should be seeking opportunities to make even the smallest milestone special.
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