HUMILITY AND CURIOSITY
“Empathy starts with curiosity” - Peter Bregman, CEO of Bregman Partners.
Curiosity is an amazing power, one of which 2 small children who run the Ripple household wield with incredible ability. From one of them asking “Why?” 300 times a day to the other pointing out the dust bunnies that have taken up residence under the furniture, as if to ask, “What is going on over here?”, children are superheroes when it comes to learning. They are not afraid to confront the fact that they do not know something and are much more interested in learning about those mysteries.
The challenge of curiosity in adults is that in order to be curious, there needs to be an admission of “I do not know” or “I am not really sure” and that vulnerability is not something that comes easily. Humility and curiosity go hand in hand, because to be humble is to admit that you are not an all knowing being. Ripple Changemakers have programs that are designed to unlock the inner child within by teaching how to be emotionally controlled and confident enough to ask “why”, and in some cases, turn that question on its head to become “why not?”. Why not start the day with some quick meditation to get my mind right? Why not have a passion project outside of my career that allows me to escape for a while? Why not go to bed a little early and take care of myself, instead of grinding out another hour with low energy on this project for work? Why not try to learn more about someone and their situation to better connect to them?
The stark reality of the situation is that no matter how well you think you know someone, how long you have been connected, or how close you have been for the time you have known them, you do not know exactly what they are thinking in any given situation. So often we reply, “I know how you feel” which is not actually accurate. Maybe next time you feel the urge, step back and say, “How does that make you feel?” Being curious about someone is a great way to learn about others as well as yourself, and being curious about a situation is a wonderful way to get back to that childhood wonder, something we all should strive for on a daily basis.