Be Curious, Not Judgmental

“Be curious, not judgmental.”

This quote is attributed to Walt Whitman. It seems to be mis-attributed from the research I’ve done, but it is none the less a powerful reminder.

When I heard this quote it slapped me in the face. I struggle with being quick to judge something. As an Enneagram 1, sometimes I am too quick to allow my gut instinct about something to judge and make an assumption without allowing my head and heart to weigh in before drawing a conclusion.

That’s the rub of it. My ego doesn’t get out of the way and trips me up. Our egos are never curious. They major in assumptions. And we all know what they say about assumptions.

What if we didn’t need to have all the answers? What if instead we decided to ask “what can I learn from this situation or person?” When we think we need to have or have all the answers we become judgmental, not curious.

What if we were truly curious about a person, about why they make the choices they do, about why they think the way they do? What if we took a few moments instead of reacting to something we think is wrong or bad and dig a little deeper into why? Why they make a certain decision, why they chose differently than you.

When did we become so fearful of another’s views that we react with such anger and assumption? If we are confident in our own beliefs and views, we would not need to argue or react in such anger.

The world is in hyper judgment mode these days. The propaganda of fear from the media has lulled us into a perpetual state of stress thinking if someone does not agree or believe the way we do then they are our enemy and a danger to us.

We have to rise above this.

Where did our sense of curiosity go? When did someone automatically become an enemy when they don’t think like us or agree with our views?

We have to guard against allowing the pride of our ego to diminish the humanity of another. Because when we diminish someone else, we diminish God and his creation.

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