courage to be curious


recently, i got my feathers ruffled.

hackles raised.

i was slightly pissed.

and as i looked at the issue, i saw a collision of opinion, fired up by differing experience, and muddied by a bit of fear and frustration. people i respect.

and i worked to learn and reframe and think and be brave and ingest as many Reeses as i could find because – of course – peanut butter and chocolate are the keys to wisdom.

finally this morning about 4:30 a.m., i stumbled across a quote by Ta Nehisi Coates that gave me the respite from my seeking and searching and ruminating:

“Listen deeply and actively.
Remember that often your greatest gift is not your knowledge, but your ability to listen and reflect.
Expertise is inherently limited; curiosity is boundless.”*

I read it again and again.
Shocked a little, because what am I known for but curiosity and how had I allowed it to slip into an expectation toward “expertise?”

“Like every other five-year-old …” is common in conversation as I account for a need to touch every book in the library, the shiny things in the window, each acorn and interesting leaf, read every book I can find and traipse through each wending trail in any weather (as long as I see no snakes nor poison ivy.)

Ever since I read this quote from Albert Einstein:

“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious,”

I’ve felt a little less like a circus clown and more like I might just belong. Albert was light-years ahead of me in terms of capacity, but I share his curious nature.

So many things to see, rocks to roll over, people to meet, teeth to break flying off of things and stars to tear up over.

Like every other five-year-old, I must now return to my “home-base” of curiosity.
Of being courageous enough to not know everything and to still be passionately and unabashedly curious. To not give up in the not yet and to boldly go where I have not yet gone.

To risk more ridicule and steam rolling because I am willing to start and see how something goes – with a plan, yes – with a curious heart and a hope for wonder.

One thing I know for sure” People are not drawn to our erudition, perfection or no-need-to-ask-for-helpness for very long; our very best people are drawn to our goofiness, the way we snort when we laugh or the sweet details of our story that reveal Clark Kent beneath the cape – the everyday ordinary.

So now I will educate myself as much as I can about this thing and protect that geeky curiosity so that I can see and experience the information and This THING with an open heart. I need it. I don’t need to know everything. That is too limiting.

I do need to keep growing and be kind – open-hearted.

It’s all about Adventure and Wonder and the brilliance of what we do not yet know, but are courageous enough to risk finding out.

So Happy Trails, peeps. Go where your curiosity takes you and keep some wisdom in your pocket for the path ahead. It will be more fun that way.

*Want to know where I read that Ta Nehisi Coates quote? Here,


3 thoughts on “courage to be curious

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