Thursday, December 30, 2010

Everything is a discovery to one-year-olds because everything they encounter is new. It’s refreshing to watch Kaylin and Vivian’s surprise with simple things we take for granted like falling leaves or the dog eating food that’s thrown on the floor. Sadly in the growing up process we lose our amazement and wonder. But if you think about it, the amazement factor might not be lost, maybe we just get so busy we simply become unaware.

When I checked the dictionary, discover is defined as uncovering or finding something unexpectedly. I’ve often thought what it might be like to make a Christopher Columbus type discovery, something so big it changes the course of history. I think that falls in the uncovering category because he set out to find the new world. Things like discovering you have mice would be the finding unexpectedly part of the definition.

Researchers are on the hunt for discoveries every day. Knowing great things are out there just waiting, like the ultimate cure for cancer or yet another application for Driod, is what gives them purpose and drive.

Because we fail to notice, we pass up amazing discoveries every day. They may not be things that would make it to the cover of People magazine, but common stuff that makes us smile if we pause long enough.

Jill’s husband, David, is one of the most analytical thinkers I know, yet he takes the time to enjoy simple amazing discoveries. In fact, he is the one who reminded me to take note. Not long ago he opened the dishwasher and I heard him say, mostly to himself, “Wow, don’t you love it when you open the dishwasher and the dishes are still dirty?”

“What did you say,” I asked, thinking he had spent way to much time on the computer that day?

“You know, if the dishes are still dirty you don’t have to unload everything yet,” he said, as if I had missed the whole point. I had.

I suppose it’s the same as waking up at 3AM realizing you don’t have to get up for three more hours or getting a check in the mail because you overpaid a bill. It’s amazing and surprising. If you think about it, a great parking spot, a short drive through line, and a “No waiting on register number 10” announcement are all amazing discoveries.

In our lifetime most of us will never find a new vaccine or the real location of Sasquatch, but we have the opportunity to recognize and smile at amazing discoveries every day.

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