7 Wonders of the World
Sometime between the fifth and third centuries before the birth of Christ, working from each other’s writings, historians Herodotus and Callimachus of Cyrene conjured a list of seven wonders of the world. Although only one world wonder has survived, the Great Pyramid at Giza, the references to this list have endured to this day.
One day, a teacher at an elementary school asked her students to list all seven wonders.
Most students followed the prompt and promptly listed each of them:
Great Pyramid of Giza
Colossus of Rhodes
Hanging Gardens of Babylon
Lighthouse of Alexandria
Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
Statue of Zeus at Olympia
Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
Except for one student; she seemed to struggle with her list.
The teacher approached her and asked, “How’s your list going, Mia?”
“I think I’ve got them all, but I am not sure,” the girl replied.
“Why don’t you read them out loud to us and we can maybe help you finish the list,” asked the teacher, encouragingly.
“Ok,” said Mia, and proceeded.
“The seven wonders are,”
Yes, this story is cheesy.
Yes, it’s also cliché.
But things become clichés because they’re true.
Lots of people value a lot of things and as a society, and a humanity, we’ve been fed a variety of norms we’re meant to value: from the nuclear family to 9-to-5 jobs to safety to money, etc. Yet, of all the world wonders—ancient and modern alike—the wonders that exist within us seem to be most enduring and most relevant to each and every one of us.
They’re also accessible to us daily.
Experiencing them fully is what makes our life wondrous.
These seven “Human Wonders” is our path to aliveness.
Take each of them and experience them right now.
Look around you with intense presence; hear the sounds, even if it is the humming of the air-conditioner; touch your coffee mug until each of your fingers connects with the porcelain and the warmth; smell the scents in the air, however weak they might feel; pay attention to your body: what are you feeling right now? Nothing? Put the palm of your hand over your heart and feel that beat; you’re alive. What was that thing you laughed at recently? Think of it or look at it again, and laugh out loud, and pay attention as you’re doing it. Finally, think of someone or something you love.
Funny how a kid who is unconcerned with the “adult stuff” can recognize the simplest and the truest wonders of the world.
Hope each of us can be that kid at least once a day.