From: The Wall Street Journal

When Awe-Struck, We Feel Both Smaller and Larger

The Wall Street Journal:

I took my grandchildren this week to see “The Nutcracker.” At the crucial moment in the ballet, when the Christmas tree magically expands, my 3-year-old granddaughter, her head tilted up, eyes wide, let out an impressive, irrepressible “Ohhhh!”

The image of that enchanted tree captures everything marvelous about the holiday, for believers and secular people alike. The emotion that it evokes makes braving the city traffic and crowds worthwhile.

What the children, and their grandmother, felt was awe—that special sense of the vastness of nature, the universe, the cosmos, and our own insignificance in comparison. Awe can be inspired by a magnificent tree or by Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” or by Christmas Eve mass in the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral.

Read the whole story: The Wall Street Journal

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