What I've been thinking about...
"Did you know," he continued, "that a mysterious planet has just been discovered where millions of intelligent beings are loafing around on two legs peeping out over the planet through a pair of bright lenses?"
I had to admit this was completely new to me.
"The little planet is held together by a complicated network of tracks where these clever guys constantly roll around in colorful wagons."
"Is that true?"
"Yes sir!" On this planet these mysterious creatures have also built enormous buildings which are more than one hundred stories tall. And underneath these constructions they’ve dug long tunnels which they can flit around in, in electric things moving on rails."
"Are you quite sure?" I asked.
"Yes, quite sure."
"But… why have I never heard of this planet?"
"Well," Dad said, "first of all, it was discovered only recently, and second, I fear that no one but I has discovered it."
"Where is it, then?"
At this point Dad stepped on the brake and pulled off the road.
"Here!" he said, and slapped his palm down on the dashboard. "This is the remarkable planet, Hans Thomas. And we are those intelligent guys rolling around in a red Fiat."
I sat for a few seconds sulking because he’d fooled me. But then it occurred to me how incredible this planet is, and so I forgave him at once.
"People would have gone absolutely wild if the astronomers had discovered another living planet," Dad concluded. "They just aren’t amazed by their own kind anymore."
-Jostein Gaarder from “The Solitaire Mystery
With all the excitement about exo-planets and water on Mars, I decided to hunt down this passage from my favorite book. Gaarder’s “Sophie’s World" was incredible, but anyone who reads this and none of his other work is missing something important. I’ve never encountered an author so able to rekindle my sense of wonder at the amazingness that we call everyday life.