Awe and Wonder: An Emotion We Need to Experience

I was presenting earlier this month in Vermont. This was an area of the country that I hadn’t previously explored and as I drove from Boston to Vermont, I found myself often in awe of the beauty around me. On the way back to Boston, I decided to drive through Concord, Massachusetts and explore Walden Pond where Henry David Thoreau spent time: “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” As I hiked around Walden Pond and sat in the very spot of Thoreau’s house on Walden Pond, I felt such a sense of awe and wonder.

This talk by Dacher Keltner, director of the Greater Good Science Center (GGSC) and professor at UC Berkeley, gives an overview of the young science of awe, from how it’s expressed to its benefits for health and well-being. Filmed at the GGSC’s June 2016 conference, The Art & Science of Awe. The discussion in this video is so inspiring. Listen and then go out and experience awe and wonder.