“What a wonderful phenomenon it is, carefully considered, when the human eye, that jewel of organic structures, concentrates its moist brilliance on another human creature!”
~ Thomas Mann
When we make it our choice to see, the world truly is a wonderful place in which to be.
German novelist and 1929 Nobel Prize laureate Thomas Mann made this observation years ago during an era when there were likely many reasons to fret, fear and fight.
In 1967, during a time of civil unrest in the United States, a similar proclamation was made by legendary jazz musician Louis Armstrong.
“What a wonderful world!” remains one of his most enduring and uplifting hits.
The grandson of slaves, Louie Armstrong (aka “Satchmo”) was born in New Orleans, Louisiana at the turn of the last century. Abandoned by his dad when he was an infant, young Louie worked in a variety of capacities as a child to keep his mom out of prostitution. Despite challenges, Armstrong found his own reasons to smile at life. A trumpeter, composer, singer and occasional actor, he enjoyed a robust entertainment career that spanned five decades and crossed over many divides.
Each day, we have an opportunity to do more than await a wonderful world. We can choose to see it within and make a beautiful world ourselves. Whether it’s through major works like philanthropy or small gestures like helping a neighbor cross the street, we are all visionaries and creators of that cosmos.
If you’re seeking a reminder today that we already are in a wonderful world, look no further.
Listen and appreciate the world that we all seek — everywhere.