|Pixabay / Night Sky / fancycrave1|
Psychologists are noticing that a sense of awe makes you a better person. Why is it a uniquely human trait?To read the rest, click on "Why Awe Is Uniquely Human".
Animals have some of the best views of the world: geese that sly over Mt. Everest, squirrels that gather nuts at the edge of the Grand Canyon, butterflies that travel over the continental United States to Mexico. No adventurer in a wingsuit (video) gets a more thrilling ride than a peregrine falcon gets every day. But we don’t see animals pausing to soak it all in. Birds and whales sing for communication or to attract mates, but we don’t know of any animals that vocalize music in response to the pure beauty and majesty of the earth. None of them write poetry about it. It’s a uniquely human experience to express transcendental thoughts in response to majestic sights and ideas beyond ourselves. We call it awe.
As reported in “News from Eden” (5/20/15), the American Psychological Association has recognized awe as a motivator for altruism. Expanding on that theme, Paul Piff from UC Irvine says that “Seeing awe-inspiring natural sights makes you a better person” (New Scientist). Simple experiments proved to him that “no matter who you are, awe” has the power to make us nicer.