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Posts Tagged ‘education’

24 FEBRUARY, 2014

The “I” of the Beholder: What Is the Self?

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“The fate of the world depends on the Selves of human beings.”

“I change every day, change my patterns, my concepts, my interpretations,” Anaïs Nin wrote to Harper’s Bazaar editor Leo Lerman in history’s most gracious turn-down of a major magazine profile, “I am a series of moods and sensations. I play a thousand roles.” And yet despite how much science may disprove it and philosophy may debunk it, most of us cling to the notion of the permanent self with unparalleled zest.

In her seminal book The “I” of the Beholder: A Guided Journey to the Essence of a Child (public library), education pioneer and Roeper School co-founder Annemarie Roeper considers the origin and nature of identity and of the self as it relates to developmental psychology and our formative years.

Roeper, who fled to America from Nazi Germany, was born in Vienna in 1918 and came of age in the aftermath of “the age of insight,” which had sparked a historic cross-pollination of science, the arts, and the humanities. This was also the dawn of our modern understanding of the human psyche, a movement that elevated Freud into one of the most influential figures in Vienna and the rest of Europe. Roeper was literally nursed on his theories — her mother would breastfeed young Annemarie while discussing Freud’s work with her psychoanalyst friends. The confluence of these two — a cultural climate that placed a great emphasis on thoughtful education for children and a keen interest in the inner workings of the human psyche — came to define Roeper’s life path, career, and influential contribution to education.

Roeper writes in the introduction:

[We have] a sense of the mystery of life, the mystery of the universe that surrounds us, and the mystery that is within us. It is within these vast unknowns that we try to establish our identities. We strive to carve out a place that is known, a place that we can manage, a place that is safe, a place that allows us to grow our unique Selves. This is nothing less than our struggle for psychic survival, a need for identity: tribal identity, national identity, group identity, a family identity, and finally, an individual identity.

More than merely recognizing the sensemaking function of the Self, however, Roeper argues that this understanding of the Self underpins nearly every aspect of society and emphasizes the enormous importance of understanding this “complex unit, filled with conscious and unconscious reactions, drives, feelings, and anxieties”:

We have failed to create a safe, harmonious society for past, current, and future generations. History is made in the cradle and in the classroom, and how a child grows, how his or her Self develops, determines the future of our world. We lack a fundamental understanding of the human soul and how it develops. This lack of understanding affects every aspect of our lives, whether it is in politics, economics, education, the penal system, or relations between the nations of the world. In our approach to children and ourselves, we need a view that includes the Self and the universal reality of physical and spiritual interdependence.

Rather than a cognitive concept, however, Roeper argues that the Self is something else, something bigger and more ineffable, the missing link in the age-old quest to understand what it means to be human. She illustrates this with a poetic role-play parable wherein she encounters the Self and the Self speaks to her, articulating its concerns about its role in the cultivation of a child’s psyche:

Stop judging me, evaluating me, categorizing me. I am an enigma and will remain one. If you include me, we can dance together. If not, I will shrink and be crippled and cower in the corner. The strength of my feelings will be undiminished, but if they have no outlet, they might burst out in destructive ways.

I am wondering how words could describe my complexity and mystery. How can cognitive terms explain what you see in the trusting, eager eyes of children who look at you expecting safety and comfort, unconditional love, and true empathy? In their eyes, you can see such depth of feeling, such thirst for growth, such creativity, and a passion for learning.

Each one is filled with unpredictable mystery, drive, and potential — a complete agenda of his own. And such beauty! But also uncertainty, questions, fear, anger, jealousy, distrust. Their eyes and ways truly speak volumes, if you know how to read them. It is the Self, the “I” of the beholder that looks at you from these eyes. I, the Self, say to you, I trust you to help me develop and become who I am, who I want to be, and who I am destined to be.

When Roeper asks the Self what she could do to help it spread its wings, the Self replies:

I am a whole world, the inside of which confronts the outside and wants to be one with it. But I am trapped inside and can only reach out to you if the world outside understands and feels with me… I need to grow just as the physical body does. Just like the physical body, I, too, need food and shelter. I need to be cared for. Let them know that they must respect me, for the fate of the world depends on the Selves of human beings.

What makes us humans unique, Roeper reminds us, is precisely this ability to observe and converse with — even if in less literal terms — our Selves, to form with them the same type of relationship that we can form with our bodies. Roeper writes:

One of the strange things that we humans can do is to look at our own Selves from the outside in, as well as from the inside out. In other words, we can feel and at the same time watch our Selves feeling.

In continuing her imaginary conversation with the Self, she considers how its task differs from that of human organs. In a meditation reminiscent of Alan Watts’s teachings on death and the ego, she tells the Self:

You are the core of our being; all of the other parts of the body are felt to be part of you. When any part of the body is hurt, you feel hurt. When our body feels well, you feel well. We know we are alive because we feel ourselves as “I.” I have never died, but I know it is the “I” that feels the dying. It is the “I” that stops existing in the form in which we are used to when we die.

Much like The Little Prince observed that “what is essential is invisible to the eye,” the Self questions how “it” exists if it’s invisible. Roeper answers with “a true story” — does a story whose truthfulness is alleged within a fictional dialogue remain truthful? — and offers an anecdote:

A few years ago, I worked with an eight-year-old who had difficulties in school. She showed me a picture she had drawn and said, “This picture will tell you why I am having trouble.” I saw a small child in a car but could not tell what she was talking about by looking at the picture. She said, “You will need this,” and handed me a magnifying glass. Now I could tell. There was a picture of the Earth inside the child’s head, with hot flames shooting out of it. She said, “There’s a whole world inside of me that doesn’t match the world outside, and this is why I am having trouble.” She said this is what makes her so lonely and helpless and angry. She said the world inside every person is as big as the one outside, only no one knows that it is there.”

This, Roeper tells the Self, is what the Self is. She continues:

You have your own agenda, your inner mandate. This mandate originates from all sorts of sources. It moves in all sorts of directions but functions as a unit. It becomes a life force. You are destined to grow a certain way, as is the flower and all living beings. Sometimes flowers persist in growing even between hard rocks. Their life force can compel them to grow in unexpected places, but they cannot grow well if they aren’t nurtured. Sometimes they get crippled and unhappy and cannot grow much. But other times, persistent strength may move the rock out of their way.

This is exactly the fate of human Selves when they encounter the world outside. They must follow their agenda. So, yes, there is a plot, but the course of this plot is not predictable, because we don’t know how interaction with the world changes its course. It is the greatest drama in the world.

Articulating the same sentiment that John Updike did when he observed that “the mystery of being is a permanent mystery,” Roeper concludes her imaginary conversation with the Self:

We don’t really understand our Selves or what life is. It is a mystery, and this fact is hard to accept. Humankind has developed many theories about you and believes they are facts, but in the end, all we can see is your behavior, your reactions to the world around you, and the world’s reaction to you.

Roeper lived to be ninety-four — proof, perhaps, that a concern for children’s minds is the key to longevity. The “I” of the Beholder, her final book, goes on to explore just how poorly we understand the self and how much a richer understanding can help enhance the happiness, mental health, and potential for success not only of gifted children — Roeper’s area of expertise — but of all humans, at all stages of life. Complement it with Alan Watts on the ego and the universe.

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29 JANUARY, 2014

Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives

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How to fine-tune the internal monologue that scores every aspect of our lives, from leadership to love.

“If you imagine less, less will be what you undoubtedly deserve,” Debbie Millman counseled in one of the best commencement speeches ever given, urging: “Do what you love, and don’t stop until you get what you love. Work as hard as you can, imagine immensities…” Far from Pollyanna platitude, this advice actually reflects what modern psychology knows about how belief systems about our own abilities and potential fuel our behavior and predict our success. Much of that understanding stems from the work of Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, synthesized in her remarkably insightful Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (public library), which explores the power of our beliefs, both conscious and unconscious, and how changing even the simplest of them can have profound impact on nearly every aspect of our lives.

One of the most basic beliefs we carry about ourselves, Dweck found in her research, has to do with how we view and inhabit what we consider to be our personality. A “fixed mindset” assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static givens which we can’t change in any meaningful way, and success is the affirmation of that inherent intelligence, an assessment of how those givens measure up against an equally fixed standard; striving for success and avoiding failure at all costs become a way of maintaining the sense of being smart or skilled. A “growth mindset,” on the other hand, thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities. Out of these two mindsets, which we manifest from a very early age, springs a great deal of our behavior, our relationship with success and failure in both professional and personal contexts, and ultimately our capacity for happiness.

The consequences of believing that intelligence and personality can be developed rather than being immutably engrained traits, Dweck found in her two decades of research with both children and adults, are remarkable. She writes:

For twenty years, my research has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value. How does this happen? How can a simple belief have the power to transform your psychology and, as a result, your life?

Believing that your qualities are carved in stone — the fixed mindset — creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over. If you have only a certain amount of intelligence, a certain personality, and a certain moral character — well, then you’d better prove that you have a healthy dose of them. It simply wouldn’t do to look or feel deficient in these most basic characteristics.

[…]

I’ve seen so many people with this one consuming goal of proving themselves—in the classroom, in their careers, and in their relationships. Every situation calls for a confirmation of their intelligence, personality, or character. Every situation is evaluated: Will I succeed or fail? Will I look smart or dumb? Will I be accepted or rejected? Will I feel like a winner or a loser? . . .

There’s another mindset in which these traits are not simply a hand you’re dealt and have to live with, always trying to convince yourself and others that you have a royal flush when you’re secretly worried it’s a pair of tens. In this mindset, the hand you’re dealt is just the starting point for development. This growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. Although people may differ in every which way — in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments — everyone can change and grow through application and experience.

Do people with this mindset believe that anyone can be anything, that anyone with proper motivation or education can become Einstein or Beethoven? No, but they believe that a person’s true potential is unknown (and unknowable); that it’s impossible to foresee what can be accomplished with years of passion, toil, and training.

At the heart of what makes the “growth mindset” so winsome, Dweck found, is that it creates a passion for learning rather than a hunger for approval. Its hallmark is the conviction that human qualities like intelligence and creativity, and even relational capacities like love and friendship, can be cultivated through effort and deliberate practice. Not only are people with this mindset not discouraged by failure, but they don’t actually see themselves as failing in those situations — they see themselves as learning. Dweck writes:

Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better? Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them? Why look for friends or partners who will just shore up your self-esteem instead of ones who will also challenge you to grow? And why seek out the tried and true, instead of experiences that will stretch you? The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.

This idea, of course, isn’t new — if anything, it’s the fodder of self-help books and vacant “You can do anything!” platitudes. What makes Dweck’s work different, however, is that it is rooted in rigorous research on how the mind — especially the developing mind — works, identifying not only the core drivers of those mindsets but also how they can be reprogrammed.

Dweck and her team found that people with the fixed mindset see risk and effort as potential giveaways of their inadequacies, revealing that they come up short in some way. But the relationship between mindset and effort is a two-way street:

It’s not just that some people happen to recognize the value of challenging themselves and the importance of effort. Our research has shown that this comes directly from the growth mindset. When we teach people the growth mindset, with its focus on development, these ideas about challenge and effort follow. . . .

As you begin to understand the fixed and growth mindsets, you will see exactly how one thing leads to another—how a belief that your qualities are carved in stone leads to a host of thoughts and actions, and how a belief that your qualities can be cultivated leads to a host of different thoughts and actions, taking you down an entirely different road.

[…]

The mindsets change what people strive for and what they see as success. . . they change the definition, significance, and impact of failure. . . they change the deepest meaning of effort.

Dweck cites a poll of 143 creativity researchers, who concurred that the number-one trait underpinning creative achievement is precisely the kind of resilience and fail-forward perseverance attributed to the growth mindset. She writes:

When you enter a mindset, you enter a new world. In one world — the world of fixed traits — success is about proving you’re smart or talented. Validating yourself. In the other — the world of changing qualities — it’s about stretching yourself to learn something new. Developing yourself.

In one world, failure is about having a setback. Getting a bad grade. Losing a tournament. Getting fired. Getting rejected. It means you’re not smart or talented. In the other world, failure is about not growing. Not reaching for the things you value. It means you’re not fulfilling your potential.

In one world, effort is a bad thing. It, like failure, means you’re not smart or talented. If you were, you wouldn’t need effort. In the other world, effort is what makes you smart or talented.

But her most remarkable research, which has informed present theories of why presence is more important than praise in teaching children to cultivate a healthy relationship with achievement, explores how these mindsets are born — they form, it turns out, very early in life. In one seminal study, Dweck and her colleagues offered four-year-olds a choice: They could either redo an easy jigsaw puzzle, or try a harder one. Even these young children conformed to the characteristics of one of the two mindsets — those with “fixed” mentality stayed on the safe side, choosing the easier puzzles that would affirm their existing ability, articulating to the researchers their belief that smart kids don’t make mistakes; those with the “growth” mindset thought it an odd choice to begin with, perplexed why anyone would want to do the same puzzle over and over if they aren’t learning anything new. In other words, the fixed-mindset kids wanted to make sure they succeeded in order to seem smart, whereas the growth-mindset ones wanted to stretch themselves, for their definition of success was about becoming smarter.

Dweck quotes one seventh-grade girl, who captured the difference beautifully:

I think intelligence is something you have to work for … it isn’t just given to you.… Most kids, if they’re not sure of an answer, will not raise their hand to answer the question. But what I usually do is raise my hand, because if I’m wrong, then my mistake will be corrected. Or I will raise my hand and say, ‘How would this be solved?’ or ‘I don’t get this. Can you help me?’ Just by doing that I’m increasing my intelligence.

Things got even more interesting when Dweck brought people into Columbia’s brain-wave lab to study how their brains behaved as they answered difficult questions and received feedback. What she found was that those with a fixed mindset were only interested in hearing feedback that reflected directly on their present ability, but tuned out information that could help them learn and improve. They even showed no interest in hearing the right answer when they had gotten a question wrong, because they had already filed it away in the failure category. Those with a growth mindset, on the other hand, were keenly attentive to information that could help them expand their existing knowledge and skill, regardless of whether they’d gotten the question right or wrong — in other words, their priority was learning, not the binary trap of success and failure.

These findings are especially important in education and how we, as a culture, assess intelligence. In another study of hundreds of students, mostly adolescents, Dweck and her colleagues gave each ten fairly challenging problems from a nonverbal IQ test, then praised the student for his or her performance — most had done pretty well. But they offered two types of praise: Some students were told “Wow, you got [X many] right. That’s a really good score. You must be smart at this,” while others, “Wow, you got [X many] right. That’s a really good score. You must have worked really hard.” In other words, some were praised for ability and others for effort. The findings, at this point, are unsurprising yet jarring:

The ability praise pushed students right into the fixed mindset, and they showed all the signs of it, too: When we gave them a choice, they rejected a challenging new task that they could learn from. They didn’t want to do anything that could expose their flaws and call into question their talent.

[…]

In contrast, when students were praised for effort, 90 percent of them wanted the challenging new task that they could learn from.

The most interesting part, however, is what happened next: When Dweck and her colleagues gave the students a subsequent set of harder problems, on which the students didn’t do so well. Suddenly, the ability-praised kids thought they weren’t so smart or gifted after all. Dweck puts it poignantly:

If success had meant they were intelligent, then less-than-success meant they were deficient.

But for the effort-praised kids, the difficulty was simply an indication that they had to put in more effort, not a sign of failure or a reflection of their poor intellect. Perhaps most importantly, the two mindsets also impacted the kids’ level of enjoyment — everyone enjoyed the first round of easier questions, which most kids got right, but as soon as the questions got more challenging, the ability-praised kids no longer had any fun, while the effort-praised ones not only still enjoyed the problems but even said that the more challenging, the more fun. The latter also had significant improvements in their performance as the problems got harder, while the former kept getting worse and worse, as if discouraged by their own success-or-failure mindset.

It gets better — or worse, depending on how we look at it: The most unsettling finding came after the IQ questions were completed, when the researchers asked the kids to write private letters to their peers relaying the experience, including a space for reporting their scores on the problems. To Dweck’s devastation, the most toxic byproduct of the fixed mindset turned out to be dishonesty: Forty percent of the ability-praised kids lied about their scores, inflating them to look more successful. She laments:

In the fixed mindset, imperfections are shameful — especially if you’re talented — so they lied them away. What’s so alarming is that we took ordinary children and made them into liars, simply by telling them they were smart.

This illustrates the key difference between the two mindsets — for those with a growth one, “personal success is when you work your hardest to become your best,” whereas for those with a fixed one, “success is about establishing their superiority, pure and simple. Being that somebody who is worthier than the nobodies.” For the latter, setbacks are a sentence and a label. For the former, they’re motivating, informative input — a wakeup call.

But one of the most profound applications of this insight has to do not with business or education but with love. Dweck found that people exhibited the same dichotomy of dispositions in their personal relationships: Those with a fixed mindset believed their ideal mate would put them on a pedestal and make them feel perfect, like “the god of a one-person religion,” whereas those with the growth mindset preferred a partner who would recognize their faults and lovingly help improve them, someone who would encourage them to learn new things and became a better person. The fixed mindset, it turns out, is at the root of many of our most toxic cultural myths about “true love.” Dweck writes:

The growth mindset says all of these things can be developed. All — you, your partner, and the relationship — are capable of growth and change.

In the fixed mindset, the ideal is instant, perfect, and perpetual compatibility. Like it was meant to be. Like riding off into the sunset. Like “they lived happily ever after.”

[…]

One problem is that people with the fixed mindset expect everything good to happen automatically. It’s not that the partners will work to help each other solve their problems or gain skills. It’s that this will magically occur through their love, sort of the way it happened to Sleeping Beauty, whose coma was cured by her prince’s kiss, or to Cinderella, whose miserable life was suddenly transformed by her prince.

This also applies to the myth of mind-reading, where the fixed mindset believes that an ideal couple should be able to read each other’s minds and finish each other’s sentences. She cites a study that invited people to talk about their relationships:

Those with the fixed mindset felt threatened and hostile after talking about even minor discrepancies in how they and their partner saw their relationship. Even a minor discrepancy threatened their belief that they shared all of each other’s views.

But most destructive of all relationship myths is the belief that if it requires work, something is terribly wrong and that any discrepancy of opinions or preferences is indicative of character flaws on behalf of one’s partner. Dweck offers a reality check:

Just as there are no great achievements without setbacks, there are no great relationships without conflicts and problems along the way.

When people with a fixed mindset talk about their conflicts, they assign blame. Sometimes they blame themselves, but often they blame their partner. And they assign blame to a trait — a character flaw.

But it doesn’t end there. When people blame their partner’s personality for the problem, they feel anger and disgust toward them.

And it barrels on: Since the problem comes from fixed traits, it can’t be solved. So once people with the fixed mindset see flaws in their partners, they become contemptuous of them and dissatisfied with the whole relationship.

Those with the growth mindset, on the other hand, can acknowledge their partners’ imperfections, without assigning blame, and still feel that they have a fulfilling relationship. They see conflicts as problems of communication, not of personality or character. This dynamic holds true as much in romantic partnerships as in friendship and even in people’s relationships with their parents. Dweck summarizes her findings:

When people embark on a relationship, they encounter a partner who is different from them, and they haven’t learned how to deal with the differences. In a good relationship, people develop these skills and, as they do, both partners grow and the relationship deepens. But for this to happen, people need to feel they’re on the same side. . . . As an atmosphere of trust developed, they [become] vitally interested in each other’s development.

What it all comes down to is that a mindset is an interpretative process that tells us what is going on around us. In the fixed mindset, that process is scored by an internal monologue of constant judging and evaluation, using every piece of information as evidence either for or against such assessments as whether you’re a good person, whether your partner is selfish, or whether you are better than the person next to you. In a growth mindset, on the other hand, the internal monologue is not one of judgment but one of voracious appetite for learning, constantly seeking out the kind of input that you can metabolize into learning and constructive action.

In the rest of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Dweck goes on to explore how these fundamental mindsets form, what their defining characteristics are in different contexts of life, and how we can rewire our cognitive habits to adopt the much more fruitful and nourishing growth mindset.

Public domain photographs via Flickr Commons

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23 DECEMBER, 2013

Pioneering Scientist Rachel Carson on Wonder, Parenting, and Why It’s More Vital to Feel than to Know

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“If facts are the seeds that later produce knowledge and wisdom, then the emotions and the impressions of the senses are the fertile soil in which the seeds must grow.”

Our inborn capacity for wonder, Carl Sagan reminded us in his remarkable reflection on spirituality, is both the heart of worship and the soul of science — in fact, what more beautiful and true way to define science than “systematic wonder”? But wonder is also one of the most endangered human faculties, and we frequently forget just what’s at stake as we risk its extinction in adulthood — a risk that begins, though far from ends, with how our hopelessly unimaginative formal education system handles young minds, rewarding rote memorization over curiosity and measuring achievement by standardized tests scores rather than character-building.

Marine biologist, conservationist, and writer Rachel Carson is credited with sparking the modern environmental movement with her influential 1962 book Silent Spring. But arguably her most timeless yet timely message came six years earlier, in The Sense of Wonder (public library) — a magnificent manifesto for the vibrant curiosity with which we are all born, and which we all risk of losing as we slip — slowly, imperceptibly, yet steadily — into our adult apathy and resignation. Above all, it’s a reminder that this precious faculty that is our most precious natural resource and our greatest responsibility to conserve.

Carson writes:

A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things that are artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength.

If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder without any such gift fairies, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.

Carson makes a wonderfully eloquent case for a particularly perilous pathology of the adult condition — the tendency to worship the intellect and scorn emotion — which Susan Sontag lamented two decades later in her poignant critique of cultural polarities, Ray Bradbury echoed in his exquisite meditation on emotion vs. intelligence, and Bertrand Russell presciently touched on in advocating for attaining “a high degree of intellectual culture without emotional atrophy.” Carson writes:

I sincerely believe that for the child, and for the parent seeking to guide him, it is not half so important to know as to feel. If facts are the seeds that later produce knowledge and wisdom, then the emotions and the impressions of the senses are the fertile soil in which the seeds must grow. The years of early childhood are the time to prepare the soil. Once the emotions have been aroused — a sense of the beautiful, the excitement of the new and the unknown, a feeling of sympathy, pity, admiration or love — then we wish for knowledge about the subject of our emotional response. Once found, it has lasting meaning. It is more important to pave the way for the child to want to know than to put him on a diet of facts he is not ready to assimilate.

Pointing to nature as the greatest sandbox for exercising our sense of wonder, Carson reflects:

What is the value of preserving and strengthening this sense of awe and wonder, this recognition of something beyond the boundaries of human existence? Is the exploration of the natural world just a pleasant way to pass the golden hours of childhood or is there something deeper?

I am sure there is something much deeper, something lasting and significant. Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life. Whatever the vexation or concerns of their personal lives, their thoughts can find paths that lead to inner contentment and to renewed excitement in living. Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for the spring. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter.

The Sense of Wonder is well worth a read — as well as a regular reread for mental and spiritual hygiene. Complement it with Jon Mooallem’s bittersweet exploration of our present relationship with nature and this fascinating read on the difference between curiosity and wonder.

Illustrated portrait of Carson by Lisa Congdon for our The Reconstructionists project.

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