There is something interesting related with our capacity to express curiosity. In my culture, curiosity has been considered a tendency that needed to be controlled, specially among women. Still today it is considered as an intrusion into other people's lives, and a behaviour to be avoided for a good social interaction.


I haven't thought very much about it until I went to visit this small community affected by the tsunami in the region of Tamil Nadu, India. And curiosity is what i found there. When we arrived to the village, we were received with a lot of excitement, we were guided into a space where the gathering was going to take place and little by little the community members started to join us for the conversation. Youths, women carrying their little children with them, a few men... In short, the place was crowded with both visitors and hosts.


By my side was a young mother with a small child in her lap. the eyes of that child were like candle lights, glowing with that special light of natural and genuine curiosity. He was looking at me, at my white hair, at the movements of my hands, at the waving of my fan.

 


I was impressed by his awareness of the things that were unfamiliar to him. And as I looked around I could see a similar look in all those present. All of us were sharing a similar feeling of curiosity, a wish to know each other.


This made me reflect about the importance of curiosity in the process of establishing human relationships. It is the starting point for establishing contact with others. I realized that without that natural feeling of curiosity to come to get familiar with that we see as different there cannot be any future relationship.


Curiosity is a source of life and growth; it allows us to advance in our development since the very moment we are born.
And I think that it is also a way of showing appreciation for others and for ourselves as humans, for what we are, for what makes us different and alike. I started to think how much of my curiosity has been left behind because of cultural beliefs. How much of it I was putting aside for considering it as a childish trait.
This community visit helped me to recover part of my lost curiosity.

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Comment by Joel on November 29, 2012 at 6:41pm
Hi MariJo & friends

Thankyou for sharing a lovely idea and thoughtful comments.

Curiosity is such a powerful part of how we connect to one another. This post reminded me that during a SALT community visit a deep, meaningful connection is created just as much through returning a smile, sharing a few words of each other's language, and just listening to one another (as opposed to appreciating any specific achievement or more "obvious" community strength). Curiosity is fundamental part of being human. Responding to it, and sharing your own, are both wonderful parts of a SALT visit experience.
Comment by Clement N Dlamini on November 29, 2012 at 4:46am
MariJo thanks for such a powerful reflection, when I first read it I had to read it again. I wonder how Africa especially Swaziland where I am can be curious enough to search or should I say investigate intent. We are living in a time where being helped is considered the best option than helping ourselves, such that our level of creativity and or innovation in the face of the many social challenges we face as a nation has been compromised. I think curiosity should extend beyond establishment and maintenance of relationship but reach a level of asking ourselves "why" which for me is important. Because asking that question will determine how far we go with our relationship and for me to know when to let go off you and you letting go off me at the right time for me to be able to live without you. Can we be we be so curious to ask ourselves those fundamental questions??? Thanks it's a brilliant piece and refreshing.
Comment by Aniruddhan Vasudevan on November 28, 2012 at 7:50pm

Oh, this is a beautiful post, MariJo. You are spot on about how curiosity is considered a bad thing altogether, and how it can actually be what connects people. Curiosity as a natural interest, fascination even, about another person. Lovely. Thanks for sharing!

Comment by MariJo on November 28, 2012 at 7:46am
Yes, Inma, is about discovering and opening up to the discovery, letting it find its way through to our hearts so that we can expand our experience with joy.
As Arthur says, there should be no place for regretting, just be aware that curiosity is a door that we can keep open more often instead of trying to close it for fear or mental prejudice.
Btw, I am afraid that if Spanish cats knew that they can enjoy two more lives in other places Spain will become deserted of cats (ha, ha)
Thank you for your comments, Sanghamitra and Olivia
Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on November 27, 2012 at 10:51pm

Lead yourself by your curiosity... It is not a matter of "finding", it is about "discovering" :) Thanks Jean Russell
Comment by Sanghamitra Iyengar on November 27, 2012 at 8:55pm

In our group when we were exploring what makes us human , someone said " curiosity". Thanks , MariJo for this lovely story. Makes me think!

Comment by NAMARA ARTHUR ARAALI on November 27, 2012 at 12:54pm

Thank you very much MariJo for sharing about curiosity some how your story can lead us to rediscover ourselves. However, we should not regret much about how much of our curiosity we have left behind because that is the process of growing up - we pick up and drop.

Comment by Olivia Munoru on November 26, 2012 at 9:46pm

This is refreshing and beautiful. I have often been embarrassed by my natural curiosity, until I realised that it is what enables me to connect so easily with people. But there's something even more natural and intense about a child's curiosity. I see it regularly on the Tube here in London. Everyone faces one another, but doesn't dare to look, connect or share a smile. Then a child will come on and unashamedly say hello to the person next to them. Yesterday a small child just reached out of his stroller and put his hand on my husband's knee. It made everyone in the carriage smile.

I love this post - it just reminds me that just as we are the ones to create barriers between one another, we can also be the ones to knock them down. 

Thank you, as always MariJo, you have brightened my day. 

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