The value of being curious in the modern world

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    26-Aug-2014

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If you gave me a few seconds to share what I believed could add the most to a persons life Id say be curious. What about? Everything and everyone. When youre curious, every day is rich. This doesnt mean every day is great, thats impossible and undesirable; but you can be up or down, relaxed, anxious, angry, sad and youre learning, adding colour and texture, cracking open walls.

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  • The value of being curious in the modern world Dionne Kasian-Lew @dionnelew
  • If I had only a few seconds to share what I believed could add the most to a persons life Id say -
  • be curious.
  • When youre curious every day is rich.
  • What about?
  • Everything & Everyone.
  • That doesnt mean every day is great -
  • (No, no.)
  • Thats impossible & undesirable.
  • But you can be up or down - relaxed, AnXioUs, ANGRY, sad & youre learning adding colour & texture, cracking open walls.
  • But youve got to pay attention.
  • Youve got to be AWAKE so that you take in what youre experiencing & make it into something, rather than being asleep and letting it pass you by.
  • Curiosity is intrinsic -
  • - although the instinct can if its not encouraged or used.
  • BUT
  • It can be rekindled.
  • Curiosity leads to unexpected synergies, it reveals new patte rns & generates startling serendipity -
  • I love this.
  • I see it most online where algorithms work out who you are fasterthanyou & connect you with people who have shared interests youd never have met otherwise
  • Ohhhh so youre interested in X (the connection says) go here, do that.
  • - exploring something youve never heard of by someone youve never met & the SpArKs start going off
  • Ohhhhh now I see
  • Now I see how this leads to that or I could combine this research here on neurology with these observations here by the long dead poet &
  • Before you know it youve turned that cheap cut of meat into Beef Cheeks Mole Poblano in the ideas sense -
  • It happens constantly.
  • And its not just you who benefits because thing get passed along -
  • The other day I was watching a video on dysfluency on Edge (sort of a bootcamp for TED) and I knew it would resonate with a writer Ive connected with in the US so I sent it her.
  • Countless examples.
  • If you love learning youre never bored -
  • -or its the kind of ennui that needs to come over you to Slow. You. Down.
  • So that the information can break down, gestate, start recombining itself into something else.
  • Thats one thing we have to BUILD into our practice -
  • boredom
  • (otherwise we are constantly distracted & entertained)
  • And in the modern world, the only thing you need is an internet connection.
  • You can head to Open Culture (or a MOOC) and study any one of 700 degrees from Ivy League Universities around the world for free.
  • Learn any language Mandarin - French Arabic no cost but your time.
  • (the most precious thing of all.)
  • Watch thousands of movies. Download books. Hear rare recordings of Florence Nightingale or Virginia Woolf, Tennessee Williams reading Hart Cranes poems -
  • Or gasp at Nerudas Me Bird translated into a stunning paper cut animation -
  • Beckett fan?
  • Heres a genius production of Come & Go.
  • If youve always wanted to learn calculus head to Khan Academy -
  • Where the way video lessons are structured means you can go through the basics again and again until you GeT IT no person left behind -
  • -not possible in our current education system (no fault of teachers who have curricula and time constrains) but where fast learners are privileged over those who are by no means less intelligent but who have different or slower learning processes
  • endl
  • Of course that makes access the new gold.
  • Im fortunate because I was born with an insatiable curiosity & a love of the arts.
  • If you have that, very rich.
  • You can spend hours in a gallery or reading a book that cost you $1 or scratching around on a canvas.
  • Just about anything fascinates me. I could sit down with someone who was passionate about dying wool or building cars and spend hours listening to what they do and why. (The exception is using spread sheets. Ive tried!)
  • There are always multiple stories behind people too, some real, some not.
  • This makes everyone interesting in their own way.
  • If you get underneath and listen then its possible to understand why people are as they are or do as they do.
  • Sometimes you want to spend a lot of time with those reasons &
  • - sometimes not.
  • And for me personally, the counterpart to all this curiosity -
  • SOLITUDE.
  • I think we go mad without it.
  • This interview first appeared on A City With Quirk.
  • You reach me on the blog at BeYourWholeSelf.com @dionnelew @beyourwholeself