Can curiosity, which allows me to learn from me, coexist with my judgments and beliefs?
Contributed by Isabel Hernández Negrin from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain.
I’m going to ask you to remember if ever you have said something like: “Nothing more can be expected from him” or “I told you so”.
When someone says something like this, it implies that they already have a preconceived concept, a judgment that’s already made and they think they know what that person or that situation is like. It happens with all of us. The others have also made a judgment about you. Perhaps with some moments shared together, they already believe that they know how you are or what they can expect from you. And surely you will not agree with that judgment, because, with good reason, you will think that those people cannot know you well, that you have never spoken in depth, nor with sufficient intimacy.
Do you think that those who already have formed an idea of you, are curious to know more about you and want to find out if there is something more to you (qualities, vital interests, hobbies, abilities, fears) that they do not know about?
And I’m not referring to the willingness to gossip. Possibly they will just be content with what they already believe to know and period. Curiosity, that is, the intention to observe something without prejudices, is not something abundant. Why observe, when I already think I know?
This is how we tend to work. I believe I know others in my surroundings and even myself.
When I think I know, I no longer feel the need to pay attention. Like when we do not let someone finish saying something and we complete the sentence for them with what we think they are going to say. Instead of listening or asking, we assume, judge and believe.
Curiosity is relegated to the childhood phase, in which we are open to being amazed, without prior judgments.
However, without curiosity, we cannot make progress in science, in industry, in politics or in the knowledge of ourselves and others. We will not find new solutions if we continue to look with the old eyes of the memory. If you find it normal to think that a scientist who believes he knows everything cannot hesitate to make progress, why do you think that you know yourself perfectly well when you only know yourself by the surface?
It is very healthy to allow yourself to be curious, to be open, to doubt your judgments, prejudices, beliefs about everything and about yourself. Giving ourselves this opportunity allows us to get to know ourselves in depth, without any criticisms or conditions.
Since we have two eyes and two ears, direct one eye towards the outside and the other towards the inside, one ear towards other people and the other listening to yourself, with all curiosity, prepared to amaze yourself.