Dinner and Mystery

Every once in a while, we host a Dinner And...
The idea is simple - host a small group to discuss a certain topic or idea with collected quotations as a guide while sharing a meal together around a table.  Just last month, we hosted Dinner and Mystery, chatting with special friends about engaging the Unknown and why it is important, about letting ourselves be taken by Wonder and what that does for us.
Now, Mystery and Wonder are some of my very favorite topics and have are becoming the foundation of my seeing.  Indeed, it is the reason for the name of this blog.  There is much to say about these topics, but I will let the sampling of quotes that I found lead to you wonder about mystery better than I can.  But if I can add just a little observation, I'll point out that the many wise words on wonder so often point to two things to help nurture it in your life - nature and children.  What nurtures a sense of awe in you?


“Our investigation indicates that awe, although often fleeting and hard to describe, serves a vital social function. By diminishing the emphasis on the individual self, awe may encourage people to forgo strict self-interest to improve the welfare of others. When experiencing awe, you may not, egocentrically speaking, feel like you're at the center of the world anymore. By shifting attention toward larger entities and diminishing the emphasis on the individual self, we reasoned that awe would trigger tendencies to engage in prosocial behaviors that may be costly for you but that benefit and help others.

Across all these different elicitors of awe, we found the same sorts of effects—people felt smaller, less self-important, and behaved in a more prosocial fashion. Might awe cause people to become more invested in the greater good, giving more to charity, volunteering to help others, or doing more to lessen their impact on the environment? Our research would suggest that the answer is yes.”

-Paul Piff, University of California; study on Awe, the Small Self, and Prosocial Behavior