Childlike Wonder

Seeing the World Through a New Perspective

Happiness in the Office

Around the office I am known as the bubbliest person in the space. People ask, “How can you be so happy all of the time? How can you have so much energy? Why do you laugh so often?” It is because of the way I strive to view the world around me.

My worldview is shaped by many things; the two most important are my faith and being a creative. However, it was my volunteering with children that encouraged me to see the world through a different lens — a lesson which is applicable to everyone.

While I was studying at the Rhode Island School of Design, I spent half of my time with children — I worked at a toy design studio and logged over 1200 hours of volunteer work by mentoring, tutoring, and working at Providence Children’s Museum (PCM). I have always loved children and have been fascinated when learning about them. However, it was in my first year at PCM where I shifted from learning about children, to learning from them.

Life at PCM

My job was to monitor the exhibits. While I sat, I observed. I began to see patterns of play and joy that children would exude when interacting with objects, people, and the space around them. This bewilderment comes from a place of growth — with every touch and breath these children are learning.

A child can pick up a small ball and their face will light up in fascination. Children will repeat the same action over and over again without getting bored as they learn about the mechanism and motion. They take nothing for granted and are intrigued by everything.

I began to look at the same objects that children expressed such amazement in and wondered why this object was so mundane to me. Why have I lost the awe that the children I observe express?

I noticed that when I approached the same exhibits as the children, I saw the paint and boards rather than imagining myself immersed in a new world with rolling hills and a live cow. I saw the blocks as beat up pieces of wood that needed to be organized rather than envisioning a landscape, or better yet, an abstract structure: an opportunity. Even when I took a step out of my comfort zone to play again, everything had to be representative: my blocks turned into roads, buildings and cities, but children would build just to build. They wouldn’t have an exact narrative or representation in mind. They were investigating the material, space, and forms they could create. It could be anything.

Adult Perspective

As adults, the world around us becomes more familiar, thus less exciting and mundane. What if we were able to change the perspective we have to look at the world with the eyes of children? How would that change our daily routine?

I took this challenge and these were my findings: I began to be amazed as I walked through the busy metropolitan streets of Boston and was in awe of the structures that were created around me. I interacted with objects with more wonder and gratitude. This shift in view even changed my perspective of relationships, I took a chance and made friends faster, I forgave quicker, and I held less grudges and judgement.

What if we lived in a world where we took time to appreciate the amazing happenings around us and, like we did on the playground, we befriend someone we just met and simply ask, “do you want to be friends?”