Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | Soulveda
The umbrella as we know it today was first manufactured in London in 1749. This is how one person described the new invention at the time: “When opened, it was like a small tent, and when shut it was all curiously jointed and would fold up to the length of a man’s hand.”
At the beginning of the 20th century, a hand pump was installed for the first time in one Indian village. When it was operated, and water started gushing out from beneath the ground, a village woman exclaimed: “Only death has defeated man.” What she meant was that man can do anything, only he cannot control death.
Two hundred years ago, umbrellas and hand pumps appeared extraordinary. Not, however, to a person living in the present age. He or she does not view such things as out of the ordinary; the reason for this is that now they have become familiar objects.
People have been looking at them for ages, and so, they have lost their novelty. However extraordinary a thing may be, when it becomes familiar, it is taken for granted; it no longer arouses any astonishment.
So it is with the objects of God’s creation. Everything that exists in this world—be it a vast ocean or a tiny leaf, a dark particle or a radiant sun—is wonderful beyond words. But, from the time of his birth into the world, one sees these things, day in and day out. From continuous exposure, they cease to arouse any astonishment. But these very things, which a person looks on without wonderment, would cause him unbounded amazement if he was to see them suddenly, for the first time.
This is a person’s test in the world: to see a tree and look on it as the first tree; to see the sun shining, and look at it as if he were seeing it for the first time; to hear a bird as if it were the first bird that ever raised its voice in song.