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A Week (& Year) Full of Wonder


“Wander often, Wonder always”.

I saw this recently as a tattoo and I loved it. Simple with a very strong message.

And this year for me there has been a lot of both. The “Wander” has been very enjoyable, and I feel very blessed and grateful I have the opportunity to be able to do it.

The “Wonder” has been amazing, though at times, challenging. But what it has done, is open up a whole lot of doors in all different aspects of my life. It has also allowed me to reflect. Upon reflection of this year, one of the great lessons has been judgement.

As children we were always taught, or at least told, “Don’t judge people”. I believe it is something that you try to do but, as you age, as you are affected by life’s experiences, other people’s opinions & their influences, media, and just life in general, things change.

Pretty soon we get into little bad habits where we may become a little biased, put people in boxes, and before we know it, we are judging the book by the cover.

When we see people, all we see is the cover. We rarely know the back story. The cover can be badly damaged, it may be a perfect cover, or it may even be a false cover. The problem is, the cover never, ever, tells you the real story.

Having done some personal life coaching (which I believe is mentoring with a good skill set), I have seen on almost on every occasion, the back story is never what you imagine it may be. And most stories behind the cover are multi-faceted. Some are shocking, some sad, some terrifying, some uncontrollable, some devastating.

And their cover that you see, is a result of their past, of their back story.

It’s easy to see the teenage delinquent, who breaks into houses, does drugs, drinks alcohol, gets into fights, and we can just write him off as another dirt bag who deserves everything he gets when it comes to karma and the law.

What if you knew his back story. What if you knew he was continually beaten by his stepfather from the age of 6 until, age 15, when he ran away from home. When at home he was surrounded by drugs and alcohol, abusive relationships, violence. He was never loved, never encouraged, never supported, never taught any life skills, never understood what a family really was. He was never nurtured.

Now imagine that was you. Imagine all you knew, from the age of 6, was violence, drugs and alcohol.

Where would you be now.

Now what do you think of the teenage delinquent. Did your view change?

I know I would feel empathy for him. I would wish he had a better start to life. Life is hard enough as it is without starting out with an elephant on your back tagging along for the ride.

But it also makes me very grateful for my childhood and upbringing.

I believe, overall, I was always pretty good when it came to not judging people. Going through my coaching program and all my changes and growth this year, it has allowed me to improve and be more aware. More aware of my surroundings, other people, and me. I still have a long was to go (ask Kim), but I feel I am improving.

I watched a film early this week (for the 2nd time) called “Wonder”. If you haven’t seen it, watch it. But get a box of tissues first. It truly is a remarkable story…and I got a lot more understanding about it the second time around. I won’t go into too much detail as I don’t want to spoil it for you.

It is about a young boy with facial deformities who is going to school for the first time. During the film you see most of it from the boy’s perspective. As the film progresses you start to form opinions of the different characters and, of course…judging them. That’s what the filmmaker wants.

The beauty about this film though, at different times, you get to see why certain characters are, the way they are. Even better, with some of them, you get to hear their back story.

Suddenly, your opinion changes, and you stop judging.

The other great thing about this movie is the strength of character, the unconditional love and the power of that strength and love. But look deeper, not just at the main character, when you watch the movie. It can be very subtle.

But as we all know, life isn’t like the movies. You can’t see what other people’s back story is. But maybe we can stop. Maybe we should take the time and think about WHY that cover maybe is, the way it is. Maybe there is a back story there we don’t know about and could never understand.

When we stop judging, that’s when empathy, understanding, forgiveness and love take over.

And the world could use a whole lot more than that.

Remember, it’s always good to “Wander often”, but it POWERFUL to “Wonder always”.