One of the things I love the most about my dad is that he constantly finds awe. Meaning, he regularly remarks upon the people and things that amaze him. Usually, I’ve not noticed these people and things, too busy going about my day with a laser-like focus on the unimportant. When he prompts me, I’m not always as amazed as my dad. But I’m constantly in awe of his ability to observe the world with a child-like sense of wonder. A wonder made readily apparent by the look in his eyes and tone of his voice. It’s awesome!
Turns out, my dad is onto something. “Awe” is healthy.
Tracy Kepler is a colleague who is as knowledgeable as anyone in the country on issues related to professional responsibility. Tracy recently commented on a LinkedIn post that had shared this Washington Post article: Awe might be our most undervalued emotion. Here’s how to help children find it. The article outlines the benefits of awe and shares tips on how to find and experience more of it.
And it’s not just children who should be searching for awe. It’s all of us. Indeed, the article includes several comments from a psychologist who has “spent years studying the beneficial effects of awe on our physical, mental and emotional well-being.”
The article makes clear that we find awe in different places. For some it’s in nature, for others in architecture & engineering, while others might experience it via human performance in sports and the arts. Per the article, noticing and allowing ourselves to experience awe is important to our well-being. In other words, while I might chuckle at some of the things that amaze my dad, it’s likely healthier to be more like my dad than to live a life unaware of the awesome that is all around me.
So, on Wellness Wednesday, remember that finding and experiencing awe can improve your well-being.
Again, to each their own awe. But, to practice what I preach, I’ll share some awe that I experienced earlier this week as I wound down from a late practice by watching music videos.
This is Nandi Bushell:
Nandi is 11. Her wiki page is here. Please read it. To summarize, Nandi is an incredibly talented drummer. Or, as Dave Grohl has said, Nandi is “the most badass drummer in the world.” And if anyone would know, it’s Dave Grohl.
For those who don’t know, Grohl was the drummer in Nirvana, one of America’s most iconic bands. He went on to found, and continues to lead, the Foo Fighters, one of my favorite bands and one that is among the most popular and successful in U.S. history. Keeping with today’s theme, I’m awed by Grohl’s talents and career.
Now, back to Nandi.
In 2019, Nandi posted a video of her version of Nirvana’s In Bloom. Grohl was among those who noticed. Over the next year or so, Nandi and Grohl engaged in a virtual “drum off.” Nandi won, with Grohl agreeing to let her play with the Foo Fighters on-stage during a concert. In August 2021, Nandi did exactly that. In front of more than 20,000 fans, Nandi sat in on drums as the Foo Fighters closed out a show with Everlong.
Nandi crushed it. It’s the most awesome thing I’ve seen in a long, long time.
There are several videos of Nandi’s performance online. My favorite is here. From a music perspective, there are others of better sound quality. The reason it’s my favorite, however, has nothing to do with listening to the song. It’s my favorite because it has the best view of Grohl and Nandi. And no matter how many times I watch, I’m awed by each.
For one, Nandi’s performance is incredible. For another, I’m awed by the awe that Grohl and Nandi find and experience in each other and in the moment. Their awe, joy, love and respect are evident throughout, especially in Grohl’s introduction of Nandi and the look in Nandi’s eyes and on her face as she plays.
To borrow a Foo Fighter lyric, it’s times like these we’d all do well to try to be like my dad, Nandi, and Dave Grohl. Let yourself find and experience awe.
 I’m sure it’s tasty, but I don’t think you needed to make a special stop to show Patrick the salad bar you found. It’s in a Wendy’s.
Previous Wellness Wednesday Posts
Wellness Wednesday: Risk & Response (this one is about the report I mentioned from the Virginia State Bar)