Of curiosity and troublers

To our good friends–

Curiosity: this is the subject of the chapter which I finished this morning from Theodore Zeldin‘s An Intimate History of Humanity. Curiosity seems to me a daughter of love and a sister to truth. Curiosity is attractive and attracted. Curiosity attracts me this morning and has given me a hint as to a gift I have which I had not before seen as gift: that of being curious about things, of trying on different ideas during my reading and exploring, that this is not a negative but a positive, that I am able to thereby grow and add to and subtract from myself as I go through life.

Growth includes subtracting from ourselves as much as adding to. This is good to keep in mind. We are well served to look for things not only not to do, but not to be.

Curiosity might kill the cat, but the cat might need to die, and who said death is less than healing?

So curiosity is at least a clue and a path to conversation: Tell me about yourself. What attracted you to that? Who are you now whom you were not when you were a child, whom you were not last year? Why did you change and which do you think is better? Was the year a good one for you? What is on the horizon for you? With whom do you find yourself having good conversations in your life and work? What is a good conversation?

I am curious about conversation. What makes it good? What can it accomplish? Who are we when we converse? Who are we when we converse better? Who can we be? Can conversation help us get where we want to go, achieve our destiny? Why would we want to? What can we accomplish in conversation? When do we start? Why haven’t we started yet?

Why haven’t we started yet? Perhaps that is the hardest question for me. Is it really because I haven’t found the way? Or because I haven’t tried?

With whom to try? With those about me, while I am breathing. Be curious. Dig till we find what we need to converse about. How can we become who we can become? How can we do more of that? We are a culture which loves How questions, so we can use them to get us working on the Why questions: How can we move toward what matters? How can we ask Why more often? What work needs to be done? What are the important things we are all too busy to do anything about? What are the things we do not have the power to solve? If we do not, who does?

Lord, questions are the daughters of curiosity, the troublers of truth. I too am a troubler.

:- Doug.

Published in: Conversations | on December 26th, 2005 | No Comments »

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