Curiosity and Love
“Sometimes it’s a form of love just to talk to somebody that you have nothing in common with and still be fascinated by their presence.”
When operating from a place of love, rather than say, fear or anger, there is a natural sense of curiosity about life – about oneself and the world around us. Curiosity leads to knowledge and greater understanding. Alternatively, fear and anger create a more narrow experience, a type of tunnel vision, full of snap judgments and a more superficial knowing.
When people are in a state of ease, with all their basic needs met, curiosity naturally arises. Every human being has a fascinating life story, and all behavior, whether healthy or dysfunctional, “makes sense” when you look at it closely, with an open mind. This doesn’t mean that you should just sit back passively and never change anything. But it does mean that there’s a reason for everything, and understanding its root is an important step in the transformation process.
With that said, if you find yourself bored when conversing with another fellow human being, it’s likely that you’re staying focused on the superficial level of who they are. You may be having thoughts like “this old-fashioned person,” “this conservative that I don’t have anything in common with,” “this arrogant rich person,” “this slow-talking southerner,” “this fast-talking New Yorker,” “this religious zealot,” etc. Our minds are wired to quickly size up someone to determine whether they are like us or different from us. This is rooted in evolutionary mechanisms designed for maintaining safety and security: the ability to quickly determine whether we might become another’s prey was extremely important back in the Stone Age. But, for most of us today that aren’t living in a war zone, this just isn’t the case. We do, however, have to work with our neural circuitry, so it can be helpful to consciously choose to be curious, rather than feed our more judgmental predisposition.
So, next time you’re with a stranger or perhaps somebody that you’ve known from afar for years, try letting go of the narrowing, judgmental process and take a closer look at who they are. Be curious, ask questions, get to know them and you’ll find that they’re as fascinating as anybody you’ve ever met.