Awe is a powerful positive emotion. Awe is what we feel when we experience great goodness or great beauty. You might feel awe when staring at the Grand Canyon, or when watching strangers rally to help people suffering from a natural disaster. When we feel awe, we feel part of something much larger than ourselves; we feel connected to others and to the world. You can help your family notice and appreciate the awe-some things in the world by creating an Awe Wall. All you need to do is find a wall in your house – in the kitchen or play room, for example, that you will dedicate to awe. Hang a sign that says Awe Wall and ask everyone in your family to post pictures, quotes, drawings, newspaper clippings, etc. that bring them a feeling of awe. Initially, you might only find a few things, but over time, as you pay more attention to when you feel this emotion, you’ll find that there are many experiences that help us to feel connected to greatness.
In my house, we have an Awe Wall in our play room and here are a few things that we have hanging on it: a photo of the Great Wall of China, a photo of the Great Barrier Reef, a picture of the night sky in Vermont from a family trip; a quote from Mark Twain. By making time to notice what you find awe-some, you are teaching your children to value the experience of being awe-struck and that feeling connected to something larger than oneself is worth noticing and pursuing!