Curiosity Empathy & Respect
Three words to live by
For newcomers, I’m turning 40 later this year. Couple that with the tiny dictator that now controls how much I sleep, and it continually pushes me to reexamine how I want to talk about things when she’s old enough. Still, she’s a combo of me and my roommate. Lord help us all when the noises she currently makes turn to words.
When two-way communication does sharpen between us, these are the three words I want her to live by everyday.
As tempting as it is today with information at our fingertips, don’t be a know-it-all. Strive to know what you know and know what you don’t. If something doesn’t interest you, that’s fine. We only have so much bandwidth, it’s a big world, and we have to prioritize accordingly. If it does get your attention, go into whatever “it” is with an open mind.
Living curiously also means tapping into empathy. It doesn’t require one to internalize or shoulder the feelings and experiences of others. It means you have to work to understand those feelings and experiences, especially those different from you. Again, understanding and internalizing aren’t necessarily synonymous. If that empathy leads to other feelings, that’s okay. If it doesn’t, but you feel like you at least can understand why someone else might feel something, that’s okay too. Just keep an open mind and an open heart.
Lastly, respect. This one’s tricky. It can mean agreeing with someone or giving something high praise. It can also mean to give space. Both are true, and both are needed. Show reverence or “shout out” people, words, and deeds that identify with you and your purpose while respecting the rights of others to do the same. Sometimes that can mean respecting the space of others to act, even if you don’t like what they are saying or doing.
If you take three steps back, quickly run through steps one and two, it makes figuring out which kind of respect is warranted.
There are exceptions to all rules or guidelines, but for day-to-day life and moments that make you go “hmm” or “ahhhhhh”, say it with me:
Curiosity, Empathy, Respect