Give A Little Magic

There are two ways of looking at the world. One way is to view the world as essentially flat and predetermined; you’ll never be surprised, even though you might often be disappointed. The other way is to look at the world as a place where truly magical things can and frequently do happen.

This isn’t binary, of course – this view is a spectrum. You can be more, or much more, to one side or the other, but sometimes have spikes where you slide around a little. Your position certainly changes with age. It might change with other circumstances, how happy you are, or if you’re in love.

The views aren’t scientific. Optimism and pessimism aren’t strictly correlated with how good you are at prediction. An optimist and a pessimist might predict the same event with the same degree of accuracy, but still view it as a dark, ever-encroaching tide or as an opportunity for something wondrous to happen.

You have more conscious control over that view for yourself than you think, though habits are hard to break. You have to sustain your efforts to look for wonder over time. Thankfully, it’s often self-fulfilling – look for wonder and you’ll find it, and that will make it easier to stay to that side of the scale.

But you also have a great deal of control over where someone else might fall on this scale. So much wonder and magic is other people’s actions, and you can take those actions. You can be the magic you want to see in the world.

Do something that is both nice and strange. Let people catch a glimpse of a hidden world beyond the grey one that they know, and let them believe, even for a moment, that it’s beautiful. It’s easy to do with children, but it isn’t hard to do even with adults.

Show kindness and be weird about it. Make the world more wondrous.

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