Thursday Salute to Originals: Searching for the Awe in Awesome

Searching for a Thursday Salute blog topic this week left us feeling jaded. We scoured our favorite inspiration sources and came across a few semi- interesting topics. But nothing that motivated us to do more than skim some images (we didn’t even read the accompanying text). Everything seemed monotonous, lackluster, cliché, done before. What happened to the originality, the excitement? Where is the awe?


Maybe our lack of awe is because of the overuse of the word itself. Once reserved for those purely profound moments, those experiences, sights, and sounds that simply could not be articulated any other way, “awesome” has now become a commonplace occurrence. “Awesome! The office manager bought the good pens this time!”…..“Did you see the last episode of that reality show? It was awesome!”……“Should we order that awesome $3.00 Chinese takeout again for dinner?” But are they REALLY awesome? So impactful, so mind-blowing that you must reevaluate and reformulate your perceptions of the world? Probably not. The A-word has just become our default filler response. (If cheap Chinese takeout is awesome, how do we have any hope in finding an inspiring blog topic?)


But vocabulary isn’t the only culprit here. In our modern, technologically advanced and interconnected world, we’re constantly exposed to things. Why is this problem? Because this endless exposure and access to information leaves us overwhelmed, desensitized, and with altered (and sometimes unrealistic) perceptions of things that actually are awesome.


Take Stone Henge, for example. The first person to stumble upon this prehistoric monument must have been in awe, simply mystified and stunned by this unbelievable feat. But visiting it today, would you feel that same sense of pure, untainted surprise and wonder? Sure, it’s cool, you’d snap a couple selfies. But you already read online all about its secrets and history and theories, so what’s the big deal there? And why are there all these annoying tourists? And where’s that beautiful sunset you saw in that Photoshopped picture online? Why did you come see this again? (By the way, if seeing Stone Henge first hand is unremarkable, then our Thursday blogs are really in trouble!)


So today our Thursday Original Salute is not so much about highlighting a cool art installation or an innovative product. This week, our salute is about paying homage to awe itself. Because in the search for the stimulating, the innovative, the amazing, we’re often left feeling disappointed. But when you stumble across something and feel that unexpected and profound sense of wonder in your bones, those are the experiences worth living for (and blogging about!). Unabashed amazement is truly awesome, and we hope to encounter more of those moments to humble, inspire, and alter our existence and perceptions of the world. Next time you discover something truly awesome, drop us a line and we can share it for our next Thursday Salute!

Image credits: Ink Chromatography, MattPhoto Germany via Flickr Creative CommonsBuzfed, iZ Quotes