The wonders of the world

Dear Friends in Jasper:

Not too long ago I read the following story:

A school class was asked to write down what they thought the seven wonders of the world are. Most students wrote a similar list as the following: Pyramid of Gizeh, Taj Mahal, Grand Canyon, Panama Canal, Empire State Building, Peters Dome, Chinese Wall.

When collecting the results from the students in the room, the teacher realized that one of the girls was still working on the list. Thus she asked her if she would need any help.

The student answered: “Yes. I really couldn’t make my final decision. There are so many different wonders.”

The teacher then encouraged her to read out loud what she had written. The student hesitated and then read: “For me the seven wonders of the world are: Seeing, Hearing, Touching, Smelling, Feeling, Laughing and Loving.”

The classroom went quiet.

Let’s take a look at the seven wonders of the world of this young student:

Is seeing a wonder of the world?

Certainly, if I can’t see, I’m blind. Seeing is a wonder of this world, because I can see nature, the landscape, my home, my garden, the ocean and the mountains. And I can see even more, my fellow humans. If I’m able to not just see them with my own eyes, but try to put myself into their situation, then I have made a huge step towards my fellow human.

I start to understand them.

Is hearing a wonder of the world?

Certainly, if I can’t hear, I’m deaf. Hearing is a wonder of this world, and if I’m able to not just listen, but understand before putting my own thoughts together what I might want to say, I’m in a better position to understand the others.

And if I can understand the others, then it is not foreign to me anymore or strange what that person might want to say to me. Then the chance is quite big, that I will understand what that person wanted to say to me.

Is feeling truly a wonder of the world?

Yes it is. The feel and tenderness is a wonder of the world. And any tenderness which for example I can give to a child is a wonder. Feeling however also means to understand someone else. To feel how that person is actually doing. And the large difference to seeing and hearing is that it does not happen with the head, but with the body and the gut.

Is laughing a wonder of the world?

Without any doubt it is. Because if someone can’t laugh they are a sad person. Laughing stands for happiness, for positive thoughts, for optimism, for the desire to live, work and being social.

Is loving a wonder of the world?

It certainly is. Or does anyone think that it is not a wonder of the world, that a child comes to life when love exists? But it is not only this type of love we are talking about. It is also the love I have for my work, for myself and my life.

If I for example see my work only as a source of income, I won’t be happy. But if I enjoy my work, when I can identify with it and when I love it, that is happiness

Love is a wonder of the world also when it is about love for yourself. Because you have to love yourself as well. And that is sometimes not that easy in a world where such a lot of unhappiness exists and social comparison dominates. To be pure with yourself, to find piece within, to be satisfied with simple and in-material things, that is love for yourself.

Let the world wonders of this young student be the magic in your life in the next few days and in the coming year.

—Dieter Hahn
Mayor, Pfaffenweiler, Germany

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