Editor’s Note: On this twenty-third day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” DC Service Corps volunteer Lauren Barry discusses her experience with wonder and contemplation.


The USA side of Niagara Falls in Buffalo, New York, taken in Summer 2019.

I’ve always been curious about the world around me. When I was younger, the majority of my wonders consisted of ‘how’ questions. I would wonder:  At this stage in my life, I wanted to learn facts. As I grew older though, my wonders became more why-based. I began questioning why certain dynamics existed. I began wondering: Why do some people have more privileges than others? Why don’t people share their resources when they have a surplus? Why do we help some people but not others?

I’m sure I also asked different ‘how’ questions like: How can people not care about those who are less privileged and those who are being denied basic human rights? But nonetheless, my thinking and wonders shifted. While I still wonder about things that I did when I was younger, I feel like the questions I ask now don’t have straightforward answers. The answers are complicated and layered, but I hope that through my wondering and contemplating, I can help peel apart the layers and solve the issues that our world is facing. 

Reflection: What have you wondered about lately?