It’s Okay to be Amazed

It's okay
to be amazed at the world.
So let that mouth hang open
When it's more
than you were hopin'.
Let that everyday surprise
Blow your mind and widen eyes.

It's okay
to be amazed at the world.
There's no need to push it under
If your life is full of wonder.
Never hide it.
Let it glow.
Never fear to let it show.
Growing up can make it fade,
But that's not how we were made.
We were meant to be
amazed at the world.

-B.C. Byron
This is my actual baby picture

I’m taking a sidestep from my usual weekly drawing to share a personal photo that made me chuckle. Yes, that’s actually baby B.C. Byron with his mouth hanging open in that blue bowtie and ruffly white shirt. My mother found this picture in storage and sent me a copy a few weeks ago. Of course it inspired a poem, as most things do for me. I suppose it’s possible I just had a stuffy nose and had to breath through my mouth, or maybe I was shocked at something rude the photographer said. But I like to think I was just feeling amazed by my first trip to a photo studio. I imagine life was pretty exciting as a new human. I can still remember some of those moments from when I was a few years older than this photo. I see that same excitement in my own kids almost every day and I hope, hope, hope they can keep it as they grow.

The coolest thing I’ve learned as an adult is that this crazy, jaw-dropping awe doesn’t have to go away. It’s a choice we can make. My mouth and eyes still pop open when I read about astrophysics, or when I hear a guitar solo that’s completely out-of-the-box, or Little Debbie comes up with a new snack cake that’s like a Twinkie and a snickerdoodle in one (haven’t seen it yet, but hopefully the Little Debbie execs are reading this). The wonder only dims if you let that embarrassment worm find its way into your mind. It doesn’t matter if you’re the only one that’s blown away by something. Don’t be tempted to think it’s uncool to show your feelings because everyone else says they’ve seen it before, or because somebody is rolling their eyes at your newfound treasure.

I’ve heard astronauts describe their first view of Earth from space and the powerful feelings that grab hold of the brain when they realize how small Earth is. Seven billion people packed on a miniscule marble in an ocean of marbles. The experience is lasting and life-changing. It can bring peace and happiness just talking about it. Some of the folks recording and studying these space experiences have also learned that we don’t have to be astronauts to get the benefits of seeing Earth from a spaceship. Embracing awe is a skill we can learn and practice. It’s easy to give in to it when you’re out beyond the influence of the eye-rollers in the great void, but our surroundings don’t have to be so extreme to put us in that same mode. I challenge you to notice something cool tomorrow, write it down, tell it to someone you care about, then spend time thinking about it deeply as you lie in bed with no distractions. You’ll see that it’s more than just okay to be amazed at the world.

Published by B.C. Byron

I’m a children’s author, poet, father of 3 girls, and electrical engineer. My first book, A Cat Named Lump, is available on Amazon,, and Google Books. I post new poems and illustrations every week.

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