This was a fantastic suggestion from a participant at The Spark in London. Curious is an open and generous thing to be, for if you’re still asking questions, you’ve yet to make a judgement.
It’s very easy to make up our minds without asking questions, or asking enough questions. People are layered and it’s rare to find someone without kindness or humanity. Engaging in activism can mean we come across or find ourselves feeling anger. Anger can be a useful emotion if channeled into something positive, but if not it can be corrosive.
Remaining curious leaves doors ajar, we can ask ‘how can we use this experience to learn?’, ‘what were their motivations?’, ‘how can I do X,Y,Z better next time?’, ‘I wonder how she/he feels…’
Sometimes, if for instance you’re faced with someone antagonistic on social media (or in person) asking them calmly why they feel the way they do can diffuse a bad atmosphere, we all want to be heard, understood and connected with. You may never agree, they may be offensive and unpleasant, at which point it’s best to walk away, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Use the comments below if you’ve found this useful and in what situations, people (including ourselves) can suprise us every day.