In a part of the book I am reading, Start Where You Are, It discusses the importance of curiosity. I went to the Farmer’s Market yesterday with one of Amanda’s friends from here named Lauren. She was nice enough to send me a message and ask me if I wanted to go along with her, Many thanks Lauren.
We walked around this market, it was amazing. We sampled endlessly and Lauren left with a grocery bag full and I left with no evidence but certainly a full stomach. (see below for the amazing torpasta I had).
I really appreciated though, Lauren’s questions she asked me. She asked about what Ohio looked like. What animals roamed around, was it lush and green or dry? We started talking and then I said something that even surprised myself, “I really like Ohio. Its’ seasons, full of life green, and really I think what I like most is the people are willing to be friendly.” What? I caught myself. I even rationalized, “Maybe it’s because I’ve lived there so long, I know people, to be friendly.” But that wasn’t it either. I broke it down the best I could.
You see, when you go for a run. There is this thing. It’s called the Runner’s wave. I don’t know if it was my Dad that taught me this, I’m sure it was. As you pass another runner, you wave, or lower your head enough to show acknowledgement. I tried this yesterday here on the boardwalk (as well as the day’s preceding). NOBODY wanted to make eye contact. Nobody wanted to share a smile. Nobody wanted to return my wave. Was I wearing an Ohio shirt? Did people know I was an outsider?
People didn’t want to connect. People didn’t want to be curious. The energy felt like, “we know what we know, and who we know. no need to say hello to another”
Think of young children for a moment. Children ask questions (many times “why?”) Why is the grass green? Why don’t I get any? Why can’t I get dessert? Why Why Why Why. But as we grow older, we don’t, we won’t. We should already know the answers, and if we don’t we feel incompetent.
I know I used to be embarrassed to raise my hand in class unless I was SURE I knew the answer. Now I ask, why? Why have we created a culture that doesn’t ask WHY? We grow older and we lose our curiosity for life, we lose our curiosity for others. The best conversations stem from those that are willing to reach out.
We are INTERconnected. And we do certainly have questions. Be curious about things. Wonder. And ask.
Yesterday after my run I went for a bike ride and parked myself on the edge of the beach and sat on the shelf-like boardwalk wall. I let my feel dangle forward and drank a Dr. Pepper. And I wondered. I spoke poetry and nonsense and laughed at myself and felt pity but I wondered. I did feel a bit like a child in those moments. And perhaps those around me thought I was mildly nuts but it felt good.
Try to live like a child today. Ask questions. Be curious about life. Recreate your sparkle for things unknown.