Many who lived in India in the 70’s would remember the Murphy baby- a cute, chubby cheeked little one, with large eyes round with wonder at this amazing Murphy radio.
Indeed the advertising world has found a regular parade of baby, whose expression of unbridled joy and wonder and delight has surely ensured many of us happily part with our money to buy the products.
But look around, how many kids past the age of 2 do we see expressing wonder or awe at anything? Not many, would be my guess!
And by the time they get to early teens, young people nowadays have pretty much become blase about everything they come across- holidays are no longer about going down to the beach with family and friends & mucking around. Painstaking travel itineraries are worked out, with new things everyday to keep them engaged.
No longer can one think of taking them to their grandparents place for the 4-5 week summer break, we need to plan trips to different locations each year. More than a week at Nana/Nani’s place and grumbling starts.
Forget weekends playing board games and lazing all day, they want to check out Comicon or the latest event……
As we get older too, our ability to enjoy simple things dwindles, we are enamoured by brands and exclusivity- a fly on the wall at parties would here excited shrieks- not about how wonderful it is to see someone after a long time, but “what a gorgeous necklace, where did you get that lovely dress/handbag/shoes/shawl”
Eating experiences have changed, simple fare is feted because we don’t do it very often and complicated 50 ingredient dishes on Instagram spur us on to cook and post pix!
All of this came about when someone told me some time back that they were not impressed with Niagara Falls, as it was not as inspiring as they thought it would be from the photos they had seen & another person who said they were unimpressed with The Southern Lights, as the colors were not as bright as images….
On a visit to the Louvre a few years back, I observed a young woman move from painting to painting without pausing for more than 5 seconds in front of each. She got to the Mona Lisa, glanced at it and turned….no expression of appreciation, admiration, joy or wonder for any of what she saw….
At the Vatican, while I was just standing in open mouthed awe for the Genesys, a couple took a few photos and walked out saying quite loudly- the colors in these paintings are so LOUD!
When I have spoken to others, many have recounted similar incidents, often saying they despair for their children’s attitudes of “whatever”- esp when the parents think they have shown or given them something special!
I don’t know what we can do to turn the clock back to an age of wonder, instill a sense of excitement for new things & experiences….but it would be good to occasionally see a smile or a laugh of joy for the first flake of snow or a reverence when coming face to face with The Crucifixion of St Peter by Caravaggio- I had the unhappy experience of seeing someone chew gum and shrug their shoulder and walk off…..blasphemous!