“Curiosity pleases me. It evokes … a readiness to find strange and singular what surrounds us; a certain relentlessness to break up our familiarities.”*
‘This view is about turning toward instead of turning away. But that doesn’t give you a method. It is about allowing yourself to be curious and finding that enthusiasm to lean in, rather than escaping the bad feelings.’**
When we turn up with curiosity we will be surprised and enthralled by what we find – something about life in all its fullness. Beyond “It’ll never happen,” and “This is the way it always is,” and “They’ll never change” … such a universe of possibilities awaits us.
Healthy curiosity is both inward and outward.
Finding more within is opened up by the more we find without, and the more without by the more within. Being only fascinated by what is not us means we will never develop. Only being fascinated by ourselves means we will never find our generative presence in the world.
Last year, I witnessed a lifeboat launch. In a few moments the crew had arrived, kitted up, and were on the water. I found myself pondering how they didn’t get to choose who they were rescuing: it was everyone and anyone. It was not about them. It’s a helpful metaphor.
(*Michael Foucoult, quoted in Alan Lightman’s The Accidental Universe.)
(**From Pema Chodron’s Fail, Fail Again.)