A small intake of breath, your eyes widen, you feel emotional delight and exclaim, ‘Wow!’. Not only have you been surprised, but at the same time you are engaged. A moment of delight to enliven your day.
How often do these wonderful experiences happen to us in a day? You would expect when I ask a group of people this question there would be a deluge of colourful examples for all to admire. ‘In a day?’ is the usual retort…‘Ever?’!
How sad. Is it that these beautiful events don’t exist, or are they so rare that they might cause the recipient to write to The Times as if it were the first cuckoo of spring? Surely when we are at work, travelling, shopping, at our leisure we experience ‘wow’ all the time. I say this because when I ask the same audience how often they make the effort to surprise and engage their customers, colleagues, family and friends; they claim to do it all of the time, whenever the opportunity arises.
I can only conclude that it is I the intended recipient of this bonhomie that is at fault here. I need to try harder to recognise when my fellows are attempting to ‘wow’ me. Perhaps this lack of skill to appreciate sociable effort requires a national drive of citizen education if so many people are missing the clear signals others are giving. Like all campaigns of this nature it falls upon me to start with my own behaviour. I must try harder.
Here’s the postman. I’ll start with him.
‘Wow’, I was right. I’ve just had a cheery discourse with our postman, what a nice chap, and all that time I thought the crushed letters and bent parcels were a sign he didn’t care. They were in fact simply his way of inviting me to open the door to receive a moment of ‘wow’.
Like Saul on the road to Damascus I have seen the light. It isn’t a lack of ‘wow’ moments; it’s not that people can’t be bothered that’s the problem. It is that I haven’t taken the trouble to give others the opportunity to have their efforts appreciated. From now on I shall dedicate myself to the appreciation of ‘wow’.