When Billy Bob Thornton's daughter Bella was 8 years old, she was doing something that too many kids that age don't do: reading books. Real, page-turning, front-and-back-cover books -- not the electronic versions that come on tablets and e-readers.
In a modern society with all its technological advances, this type of return-to-basics has become more and more of a rarity, says Thornton. For as much as technology has helped people be more connected than ever, it can also take away from true human connection and our underlying sense of wonder, the actor explains to "Oprah's Master Class: Belief Special."
"Even if we offer the iPad, she'd rather read a book, and I'm really happy about that because we're buried in this connection we all have to each other," he says.
Certainly, technology has its place. "Obviously, if you're pinned down some place in a country where there's a war going on or something like that, it'd be nice to have a cell phone," Thornton says. "You know, tell them where you are."
But from his perspective, the day-to-day reliance on technology and the immediacy with which it delivers also has a disheartening impact. It erodes our sense of wonder.
"Don't you want to wonder?" Thornton asks. "Sometimes, isn't it nice to say, 'Who was it that was in that movie with Frank Sinatra? And two days later remember it, or call a buddy of yours who says, 'I think that was Ernest Borgnine.'
"We don't do that much anymore," he continues. "I think we've lost our sense of magic and our sense of wonder."
To get it back, Thornton adds, take a page from Bella's book.
"We need to slow down, take the good parts of the old days, leave the bad parts behind, and start to live moment-to-moment again," he says. "Look up. Look around."
Thornton's belief in wonder is one of many belief stories being shared as a part of a global exploration of faith, happening in conjunction with the new documentary series, "Belief," which premieres Sunday, Oct. 18th at 8 p.m. ET on OWN.
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