Human beings are complicated creatures. We try to make sense of the worldly events around us by reasoning and finding patterns. Once we mature, we start to question the validity of everything around us. Mostly this analytical trait serves us. Occasionally though, we tend to extrapolate our understanding to arrive at ‘judgements.’
Perfectionists tend to be hard on themselves. Usually we adopt a lens of critique. We look at people around us with skepticism. It’s not the kindest way to deal with ourselves and those around us.
Let’s look at a classic entity that humans are hardwired for – curiosity. We’ll also see how kindness can bring healthy curiosity back to our lives.
Information stimulates our minds!
Evolutionarily, to survive and thrive, we’re always on the quest to learn. We want to digest new information and acquire knowledge to become smarter. We want to open doors to mysteries and find answers about the complexities of the world – even though they might turn out to be useless.
Curiosity is the inherent trait that makes it possible to incorporate and learn this new information. Then why are we burying our curious tendencies?
How the world suppresses our curiosities.
Sure, curiosity killed the cat. Exploration and unnecessary experiments can lead to unproductive uses of our time. But it’s the oil that helps us understand the majestic world as well as the intricacies of people around us. Without it we stop imagining the possibilities. We start believing and limiting people to stereotypes. We end up being rigid.
The current cultural climate dictates convenience and comfort over meaningful questions. We end up falling for it because it consumes less effort.
Here’s how kindness can help:
A common thread between kindness and curiosity is a concern for others with a degree of thoughtfulness. Kindness, in particular, calls for being empathetic. You treat strangers without any prejudice. You give them margins of error.
Even while talking about sensitive subjects and colliding worldviews, you remain friendly. Your intent is driven by a ‘need to know.’ It’s an exploration without craving a conclusion. When you allow people to express themselves, they will open up.
There’s a possibility that the information people share will be a 180 degree flip from your beliefs. But that’s fine – you can incubate those ideas. Maybe they will make sense at a later point in your life.
Don’t let the internet fool you!
The internet is a polarizing platform. It can lead us to believe that there’s a lot of violence and catastrophes. You might feel as if it’s the worst time to live in the world. The reason you feel that way is the excessive availability of negative information around us. Negativity gets attention and sells. The reality is we’re living in the most peaceful time ever.
So, apply a tad bit of curiosity in every event and treat every person you meet with a hint of kindness.