The struggle to remain curious during dark times
There are days in which, despite all my good intentions, I find it very difficult to remain open and curious about other people’s opinions and motivations.
Today is definitely one of those days.
As I watch bewildered and horrified the news, I find it almost impossible to stop my judgement for a moment and put myself in other people’s shoes.
And yet… I hear a voice that tells me that this is exactly what I should be doing now: Stop, Breathe and Feel.
About a year ago, I was discussing italian politics with one of my best friends. I was sharing with her how pathetic and irrational I found one of the political “leaders” and how unbelievable it was for me that any reasonable person could follow him.
My friend had a very strong reaction, telling me that she found me arrogant and that it was because of people like me that a part of the population was not feeling heard, let alone understood, and was then following these populist movements.
I must admit her reaction surprised and struck me. “Me? Arrogant? I have never been called arrogant by a friend before!”.
At that moment other friends interrupted our conversation, and it was a good excuse for me to let it go.
But this conversation somehow stayed in the back of my mind, or probably a bit deeper down myself. Until today.
As I was commenting with friends about the craziness of what is happening I suddenly realised I was being the arrogant “I know how things should work” once more.
Shouldn’t this be the moment to instead stop, breathe and feel what is going on, why do people react in a certain way, what is their side of the story and what can collectively be done so that we won’t be discussing these same topics next week, next month, next year?
This leads me to say that all leaders (and when I talk about leaders I don’t mean necessarily CEOs or Presidents, but also teachers, parents, team coordinators in volunteer organisations, sport coaches…) have a tremendous responsibility in this.
To remind ourselves and others and to role model that, no matter how deeply we disagree with someone, we should never forget that “Everyone is right... only partially”. So, let’s go and search for the maybe 2% truth in other people’s opinion and try to remain curious in investigating what is going on.
I don’t believe there are other ways to get out of the vicious circle of hatred and denial and to collectively work for the greater good.
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