The holiday season is here, time to participate in the joys and stress this season brings, including how to get through dinner with racist Uncle Sam or do-gooder Cousin Shaniqua.
We are told that we are in divided camps politically, socially, and economically. Typical options offered for coping are to tread lightly around those with whom we have differing opinions, and to focus on being grateful for what and who we have. Not finding either fully satisfying, I wonder if our way to move through the hustle and bustle of the next month is to be actively and radically curious. Curious about what people are saying, curious about our surroundings, curious about our own reactions.
I wonder what the next month could be like if we practiced curiosity, and invited others to practice curiosity with us. What fun it could be to ask the most wildly weird questions: What kind of tree is in your front yard? What is something I don’t know about you? Do you like dark or white meat on this Turkey? What is it like to be a smoker in an anti-smoking environment?
If curiosity is what leads us, the content of what is being said becomes a vehicle for more curiosity, versus a place to feel anxious, unsafe, angry, bored, etc. So yes, ask racist uncle Sam ‘what it is like to share your thoughts about Muslims here with us today?’ and ‘Uncle Sam do you want to hear what it is like for us?’ And ask cousin Shaniqua ‘How can I help with the cause that you love so much?’
Try the curiosity game with me, and I would love for you to share stories of questioning as we move though the holidays together.