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Our Non-Religious Beliefs Page 55 of  131

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  • THE WONDER YEARS


  • Several years ago, Wonder Bread advertised their product as being beneficial to the “wonder years”, the years when youth grew rapidly, but in a very real sense, all of our years should be the wonder years as we grow in both maturity and wisdom. Some of the things that we should wonder about are:


  • Why we did so many foolish things before that we would never do today.


  • Why so many things that seemed important earlier, seem so insignificant today.


  • Why so many of our beliefs seemed absolute earlier and but seem doubtful today.


  • Why so many opportunities to help others were ignored earlier but are welcomed today.


  • Why so many things that seemed so frightening then go unnoticed today.


  • Why we now understand how much more there is to learn of what we are, but believed that we knew all of what we were earlier.


  • Why we ever wanted so many meaningless things then that seem silly today.


  • Why we acted so impulsively earlier but act deliberately today.


  • Why earlier we were so concerned about others’ opinions of us and so unconcerned about our own opinions of ourselves.


  • Why so much of life seems of such great importance now but seemed so trivial then.


  • Why forgiveness was so rarely given earlier while finding anything to forgive is difficult now.


  • Why we once did things well only for the approval of others, but now find ourselves doing things well even when no one is expected to notice.


  • Why we believed so readily in the mal-intent of others then, but now regard other’s negative acts as being only the product of ignorance and misinformation.


  • Why earlier we believed that we could become secure, but now we recognize that insecurity is inescapable while alive and security is only attained through death.


  • Why gentleness was regarded as a weakness earlier but a sign of strength today.


  • Why earlier we believed that happiness could be obtained from outside of ourselves while we now recognize that happiness must grow within us with very few of its needs coming from without.


  • Why we before wanted to belong to a group only for the feeling of belonging, whereas today we recognize that the earlier need to belong was a symptom of our weakness, not our strength.


  • Why we were so impatient then with a long life ahead, but patient now with so much less of a life ahead.


  • Why the familiar is so beaconing to us now while the unfamiliar was so attracting earlier.


  • Why we were so concerned about winning arguments then instead of discovering a truth especially if it were expressed by another.


  • Why we thought tolerance was a worthy aspiration then, while today we find nothing needing our tolerance.


  • Why so many things seemed as clear as black and white then but seem rainbow-hued today.


  • Why beauty is discovered in so much of life today but was undiscovered in so much of life back then.


  • Why we are so much more aware of our great ignorance now while we were so certain of its absence earlier.


  • Why things seemed so clearly right or wrong then but seem arbitrary now as to which one they are.


  • Why life seemed so simple earlier but is recognized as being of endless complexity today.


  • Why certainties seemed so real and achievable then but seem almost entirely as mirages today.


  • Why we once expected so much from others yet today expect so little.


  • Why criticisms were so readily given and praises were so rarely given so long ago, while the exact reverse is true today.


  • Why winning at anything seemed like such a worthy goal then, but a meaningless self-delusion today.


  • Why judgments came forth so quickly and abundantly then but so slowly and rarely now.


  • We shouldn’t be surprised to find, ten years from now, that we still have the same wonderings about our todays as we now have about our yesterdays. We also shouldn’t be surprised if in ten years, that we even have a few new wonderings about today as well. Surely when our wonderings stop, the beginnings of our deaths have arrived.


  • WALT HASKINS


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