Remember the days when everything was magical? You opened the doors to the supermarket with your mind; pressed your nose to the elevator glass and gasped as the ground rushed away; marveled at your strength as your dad dramatically collapsed from your tiny tackle. And then, you grew up.
Our world is full of inventions and technology that would be extraordinary magic to the people of a century, even half-century, ago. We can communicate with people halfway across the world in real-time, travel to that same spot in one day instead of many months, and access almost any type of information instantly. But we see no magic in this. We take it all in as common, expected, even boring.
This isn't a trait specific to the generations alive today. I’m sure if one were to travel back in time to a century after the invention of the wheel, the populace wouldn’t be amazed by that basic, yet crucial technology.
However, we in this better-faster-newer age lose excitement over even the latest, shiniest technology quicker than ever. Who cares about the iPhone 6 anymore? It’s been out for an entire year. Practically ancient news in today’s world. (Although I am writing this as someone with an iPhone 5S to which I’m still very much attached.)
It’s natural for our sense of childlike wonder to dim as we age. I'd probably get some weird looks now if I started shrieking about my mind’s enormous power while entering the supermarket. But it’s good to take a step back every once in a while and realize the staggering awesomeness of our world.
Right now I'm holding a 'common' device only a little bigger than my hand that can access an almost endless trove of information, take clear pictures, send messages in many formats, and project my voice across thousands of miles. And that, my friends, is pretty darn magical.
*I previously published a version of this post on a course blog.