Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | November 17, 2011

The Seven Wonders

I learned about the seven wonders of the world before I ever attended school. Growing up in a family of travelers, I saw slides and listened to conversations about many of the world’s premier destinations — places that inspired wonder and stimulated imagination. Only later did I learn that some of the places that family members had visited were considered among the wonders of the world. Over the years I have been privileged to visit several of these places that are on the bucket list of every serious traveler. One question I am often asked is if I have a favorite country or place that I have visited. Earlier this week, a friend asked me about my recent trip to Malaysia to visit my youngest daughter who currently lives there. Familiar with many of the sights and vistas in this beautiful nation, he rattled off some of the sugar-stick sights that attract visitors there every year. “Which sight did you like the best,” he asked. Without hesitation I answered, “The sight of my daughter.”

When I first ventured away from home as a Freshman in high school, I carried a Kodak Instamatic camera with me and came home with nothing but photos of buildings and landmarks. When my Dad looked at my photos he kindly suggested that the next time I include people, even myself, in the photos. “People are more interesting than buildings and monuments,” he said. Dad pointed out that photos of buildings were fine for a travel brochure but dull for a personal album. He was right. Since then, I have focused more on the people who live in the interesting places I visit rather than on buildings or ruins or monuments.

When my friend asked me about which sight I liked best in Malaysia, I remembered a story I had heard years ago about an elementary school teacher who asked her students to list the Seven Wonders of the World on a sheet of paper. When she asked for responses, there was some disagreement among her students. Some called out places like the pyramids, the Taj Mahal, the Grand Canyon, the Panama Canal, the Great Wall of China, the Roman Colosseum, and other popular sites. As she recorded the various responses on the board, she noticed that one little girl had not turned in her paper yet. She asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list. “Yes, a little,” she replied. “I can’t quite make up my mind because there are so many.” The teacher then said, “Well, tell us what you have listed and maybe we can help.” The girl hesitated and then said, “I think the Seven Wonders of the World are…”

1. “…to touch.”
2. “…to taste.”
3. “…to see.”
4. “…to hear.”

And then, after a pensive pause, she added,

5. “…to feel.”
6. “…to laugh.”
7. “…and to love.”

I think the little girl got it right. There really are some cool and fascinating places on the planet, but ultimately, the most wondrous things are those that we so easily overlook — the simple and ordinary things that matter the most and make the biggest difference. My daughter truly was the best sight I saw in Malaysia, better than any man-made or natural wonder. Seeing and spending time with Gina was a wondrous and wonderful experience for this Dad whose daughter lives half-a-world away from home. I hope that you will take time to appreciate the Seven Wonders of the World as seen through the eyes of a little girl in a classroom.


Responses

  1. Omar,

    I am so glad you have had the opportunity to reconnect with your daughter! And as far as the Seven Wonders of the World, I agree with the young student. But I would have to add an “eighth wonder” and it would be the lowly dark chocolate. smile

    Best Always,

    Tammy

    • Amen on the dark chocolate, Tammy. 😉


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