Practicing 3 Big Words
In an era where a push for certainty and absolutes are high, I'm working to put a new practice into my life. Whether its the heightened political environment, social struggles, or just a question posed around the office, when I don't possess knowledge I am secure in, I'm going to work to fall back on "I don't know."
Rather than asserting myself into the role of an expert, or just reasoning something out through my own lens, I'm going to avoid reaching for certainties and being ok with not not having all the knowledge and experience I need. But just because "I don't know", doesn't mean that my search for clarity stops there. I want to lean on something I recently heard from Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love (link) where she spoke of "choosing curiosity over fear".
"Curiosity is an impulse that just taps you on the shoulder very lightly and invites you to turn your head a quarter of an inch and look a little closer at something that has intrigued you". Where as in the converse, "We've seen politicians who find ways to exploit terror and fear in order to get short-term power or sometimes long-term power. Because if you can figure out how to hold the reins of other people's fear, then you can control them for a while. And so one of the very most powerful ways to not end up being controlled by that is to remain more curious than you are afraid".
Fear might live within us regarding an unstable planet, unjust society, or just not wanting to be perceived as uninformed at work. I do not aim to use this to push things aside but rather be more engaged in the search. Pushing to dig deeper and ask questions rather than skim past, make assumptions, and push for over-simplified answers.
Working to loop great thinkers together, I'll leave you with a quote from Brené Brown, "The other thing we do is we make everything that's uncertain certain. Religion has gone from a belief in faith and mystery to certainty. "I'm right, you're wrong. Shut up." That's it. Just certain. The more afraid we are, the more vulnerable we are, the more afraid we are. This is what politics looks like today. There's no discourse anymore. There's no conversation. There's just blame. You know how blame is described in the research? A way to discharge pain and discomfort. We perfect."
Go Forth Boldly