Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Wednesday Wisdom - Learning What I Don't Know - Part Three

Part Three:  The Magic of Curiosity  

"I think, at a child's birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity."

Eleanor Roosevelt



To recap my two previous articles, I have determined that every person I meet has something to teach me, and I have identified three essential ingredients for learning from them what life's journey has taught them:
  • First, I must be genuinely curious.
  • Second, I must ask the right questions.
  • Third, I must listen purposefully to the answers.

I spent time this past weekend with all eight of my grandchildren, ages 17 years to 21 months. I saw in them an unfettered wonder about how things work. Their boundless curiosity (not to mention their unflagging energy) opened wide vistas of learning and discovery for them. They delighted in figuring out the world around them.


Even though we're older, we adults can develop that same level of wonder for how people work and what they know. We can cultivate a fascination for the places they've been, the challenges they've faced, and the insights they've acquired. We can begin to see this amazing world through another's eyes.
Curiosity also builds relationships. When we express respectful interest in what others have learned and accomplished, we develop a bond with them. Nearly everyone we meet yearns to be understood, so they naturally gravitate toward that person who seeks to know them better. Financial authors Scott West and Mitch Anthony have written, "Curiosity may kill cats but for people, the abundance of curiosity gives life to relationships." This human-to-human connection is one of the most joyful parts of learning from others.
Once we're on this path of curiosity, we need to learn how to ask great questions and how to listen effectively.

To be continued after Thanksgiving . . .   

No comments:

Post a Comment