Our Responsibility to Awe / by Deen Schroeder

Awe. A simple word that is often over-used but one that in its truest form conveys such deep and profound significance. To be awe-struck is not to see a beautiful sunset or the deliciousness of an over-priced artisanal coffee. To be awe-struck is to be hit by a wave of complete awe. An experience that evokes a powerful emotional response. A response that scrambles your brain and makes you think that everything that came before was mundane, simple, derivative and boring.  

One of the clearest memories I have of being struck by awe was seeing a ballerina step up onto pointe for the first time in person and being completely astounded by the sheer physicality of the act combined with the sublime grace that made it look easy. It was pure perfection bundled into a few seconds. 

Jason Silva, who has been a constant inspiration for me, refines the concept of awe into such stunning words that it compelled me to reconsider my whole creative approach. No longer bending to the mediocre but fighting for the greatness that is hidden in everything.  

I strongly believe that we all have the ability to create truly great works of art in anything that we do. We need to be willing to accept that average should never be the standard and that perfection is the noblest of pursuits. There is a line in the movie Whiplash that is described as the most dangerous two words in the English language, "Good job." The line hit me because I questioned how many times people have commended me for work that I have done and I have settled for the basic pat on the back with "good job" being circulated on internal emails. 

I will never be satisfied by the accolades of average or the commendation of "Good Job" because I am a student of awe and will forever seek out opportunities that inspire awe. I aim to breathe it in with every breath and share it with every expression, action and deed in my life. 

We all have a responsibility to awe and I will forever be its most diligent student.