My Struggle with Compassionate Curiosity

Compassionate curiosity. If you would’ve asked me what this meant a month ago I probably wouldn’t have given the best answer. Now when I think of this subject I think of stopping and listening. Having the ability to stop and listen to someone speak about what they have to say or believe in. I have never been a good listener, which makes it hard to have compassionate curiosity because it is about hearing people out. Once I am able to listen though I have recently found it easy for me to see both peoples sides in most situations. Intentionality has been one of the biggest things that I focus on in life, and I feel as if these come side by side. When I think of intentionality I think of striving to be fully into a conversation and completely present. This goes hand and hand with compassionate curiosity because they both involve selflessness. Sometimes it might be hard to sit and listen, but that is what life is about. If no one listened to each other the world would go up in flames. Without this aspect of life we would not have the power to make any decisions or solve any problems. This is one of the best ways to look back and reflect to see if in a situation that got hearted where other people had different opinions if you are able to have compassionate curiosity enough to hear them out.  

My journey with compassionate curiosity started this year, because before I would have not thought twice about it. When it comes to me understanding wicked problems with compassionate curiosity, I have definitely become more aware. At first it was hard for me to completely grasp why we needed to worry about these problems because we live with them everyday. But now I have gained the knowledge that these things may not seem like they are affecting us as much now because their negative effects are long term. I also know that without compassionate curiosity I would not be a good or kind person and it would be hard for me to be able to even live in this world.

Intellectually I used to think, who cares. It wasn’t going to affect me so I wasn’t going to have compassion towards these wicked problems, I would shake them off as if they meant absolutely nothing. This caused me to not be able to see other peoples sides of “yes these wicked problems are causing our earth to suffer,”  all I cared about was if it would affect me. This was an awful way to live, so selfish and inconsiderate to people and even the earth. Now that I have realized that it does matter, and even though it might not affect me individually, it will affect my kids and their kids. Also the people that dont have the first world problems that I have. They might not be able to get clean water to drink because we are polluting our lakes and rivers. I have a compassionate curiosity towards these subjects now and although there might be some that I don’t fully agree with I am still going to listen and give my full attention and not be selfish because it isn’t about me. I can be bigger than myself and help save our planet.

Bodily is one of the things that I have now realized that I am not good at. I will be walking outside and a piece of trash will fall out and I will think to myself, it’s okay. I think someone will pick it up and throw it away for me, or I just won’t care enough. I don’t think I realized how selfish this was until I realized how dangerous this could be and although it may be a small act it could be so helpful in the long run. Another big thing that I struggle with is recycling. Growing up my family never recycled so I never got into it. I have had the chance to understand that recycling can be so good for the environment and I had to be compassionate at first with this because i thought it was dumb. I am so thankful I was taught how helpful it can be and know I try to do it every chance I get.

Being compassionately curious through how I feel and my heart is where I think I am the strongest. My mind tells me that it’s okay and just to keep walking but my heart is what pulls me back to pick up that trash or sit and listen to the wicked problem I am learning about. When I stop and actually realize what I am doing my heart wants me to do the best for the environment so I can better the future of my children and their children. This is my strong suit when it comes to compassionate curiosity. If I were the one to be explaining the wicked problem that I feel deeply about, I would want someone to listen to me. When I think of this I think to myself this is a person with feelings as well. Treat others how you want to be treated and I know that is so cheesy but how would the world be if we were to not be like this. When I think of the people who don’t have it as good as he is suffering because of how we treat the world it really puts how I act and my actions into perspective. 

My journey with compassionate curiosity has been short because I have just been introduced to this but I am so thankful that I have. Now I can stop thinking about myself and think about others and other things going on in life. It can be hard though. Especially if you do not agree with what the person could be saying. That is why we need to consider how we would feel in their position. If we were explaining something we were passionate about and they didn’t even have the decency to sit and listen we would be hurt. So we need to treat people how we would be treated and It will create a better environment for compassionate curiosity.

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