Yesterday was orientation and I’m always interested in the amount and types of questions I receive during that time. Anything from “where are the bathrooms” to “when do we get paid” graced my ears and I was happy to answer them. I love the curiosity that fills our new hires’ minds as they learn more about the company. It almost seems to be like the second coming of childlike wonderment. It’s refreshing.
I see the same wonderment in kids. Every day I drop off or pick up our child, I see kids asking questions with faces fixed in amazement over the answers. Kids are brutal with their questions too. They sometimes want to know personal things as well. However, their cuteness and excitement for learning outweighs the current lack of tact they would eventually need to have in this world. Unfortunately, it just makes me wonder how do we adults lose our sense of curiosity, especially about people who are not like us?
The definition of curiosity is “a strong desire to know or learn something”. As adults, we tend to fancy ourselves more on the knowledgeable side of things when it comes to items of interest. We research and work diligently to find the answers we need and then we choose to share it with others or keep it to ourselves. We often do this with things but not necessarily with people. That’s why it’s easier for us to believe the stereotypes about a particular group of people than it is to ask and get educated from the source. It has been said that people are more sensitive than ever and I’m curious as to why. I want to know why those who have the knowledge that can cure another’s strong desire are keeping the information to themselves. I want to know why those who have the strong desire to know are willing to accept a completely wrong piece of information over simply asking for the truth. Because, to me, that’s being judgmental instead of being curious. Why would I say that? I say that because that person has judged the information of another who are like them to be more correct than the person who is the actual expert of the very thing about which they are curious. That’s how stereotypes are formed. A non-expert putting their “two-cents” on a subject they will either never deal with or they will never understand how one would deal in with that subject.
Replacing the fear of what is unknown (i.e. how the person asked will react, if the person will actually respond to their question, how the person asked will perceive the person asking the question, etc.) with curiosity is one of the best solutions to this predicament. The other part is listening to the answer and accepting it for what it is instead of interjecting what one thinks they know. To me, that’s the real fear. Having to accept the true answer and letting go may be one of the hardest things to do simply because it means that someone was wrong.
Until next time, gather the moral courage to ask someone the questions in which you’re interested in being answered. The only thing that can solve ignorance is asking questions for better understanding, accepting the answer and using that to be better in life. Don’t let curiosity kill the cat. Let it continue to help you grow and enhance your life.