The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Do I have a question?

Curiosity is an incredibly rich experience. That is when there is a safe space where it can find its place. I’m lucky to have the pleasure of regularly stepping into such a space. I get there by creating it.

The more often I do so, the more I learn from it. At the same time, I’m becoming more and more amazed at how solitary people become when there is no such space.

Something I’m learning in this process is how much attention is needed to allow questions to emerge. That is also to make visible what curiosity is enabling the people present to do for one another.

Asking questions is a way to express one’s interest in the other person. The questions can focus, for example, on what the other does, who they are, how they are doing, or how they feel.

In this, curiosity is an ingredient that contributes to transforming interest into genuine interest. It does it, by creating the space for the other person’s perspective and genuine answer. It also does it by showing what has not yet been understood, or what is not known.

However, curiosity also comes with the risk of looking less knowledgeable than we may seek to be or receiving unexpected information. Curiosity thus invites uncertainty. Instead of the reassuring appearance of similarities, it may bring up difference and the anxiety that comes with it.

In the duality of showing interest and feeling anxiety, it requires attention to step out of one’s comfort zone.

It helps to have a reason to do so. Finding that reason comes from asking oneself a simple but not always easy question: “what are we trying to achieve together?”

Asking oneself that question means stepping out of being solitary and assuming that solidarity can be expected or is effortless.

The reason it’s not easy is, that it requires acknowledging the interdependence of being together and wanting it to contribute to something common.




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