Could Mutual Curiosity Help Heal the Validation Addict in All of Us?
let's make the exchange of ideas fun again
I’m a big fan of curiosity. I really miss it as part of our culture.
Remember when there were no stupid questions? I miss those days. Once upon a time, questions were welcomed, even if answers weren’t readily available. It was fun to venture a guess, pose a theory, challenge it and maybe learn a new thing or two. Curiosity ruled the day, and wonder was a thing. Learning was fun, and being wrong was no big deal because it was how you might find the next good question.
But things have changed.
These days curiosity is met with exasperation, ridicule, and even hostility. Fact checking has replaced critical thinking, character assault and name-calling have replaced thoughtful discussion, and questioning conventional beliefs is considered offensive, unpatriotic, and potentially “dangerous.” We are told to leave the questions to the experts who are qualified to answer them. The science is settled.
It’s a difficult world for those of us with questions. I have so many of them.
But curiosity together is where the magic happens.
It becomes an adventure when I get to explore and unpack a subject with someone else. And having curiosity (rather than judgement) directed at me feels validating, sometimes loving. It often creates a space for introspection, which we could all use from time to time.
What a treat it is to spend time with someone who is genuinely curious about a topic that is really meaningful to me.
Something is sparked when people ask questions about something I’m passionate about. There’s something about the sharing and the exchange. Good questions get me thinking in a different way. I get to enjoy my own experiences all over again when I share them with someone else. And with mutual curiosity, there’s reciprocity, resonance, connection. It feels good and everyone gets a chance to grow.
Thank you, Sumayyah, for sharing your journey with me, reminding me how much I love what I do, and for indulging the medical detective in me!