Curiosity is an aspect of the open-minded flexibility that allows us to go on learning and growing for a lifetime. To be regularly reminded that I don’t know everything is to be motivated to go on finding things out, and to recognize that I don’t have the answers to all of life’s questions, and I don’t have to know it all. Less stress, more humility, a win-win!
Rick Hanson, in his podcast, Just One Thing, has a reflection on “the child mind” that we found meaningful this week. For a young child, everything is seen and heard for the first time. Everything is worth studying to learn what the world has to offer. If we adults can learn to take on the child mind, we will look out at a world that can always surprise us with new insights. The sages say “you can never step in the same river twice” and the same thing is true for the street in front of one’s home: it’s never the same place or the same situation.
For those working on managing chronic illness or disorder in their lives, the child mind can seem like just another job to apply discipline to, but with practice, the child’s way of observation can bring about a changed life. Each new mood; each new stumbling block; each new stressor is different from all the others that have come before. Each one, observed without preconceptions, has gifts to offer.
As Hanson says: “Imagine what would happen if you brought an attitude of not knowing toward yourself without presuming in advance various kinds of limitations.” Observe everything as if it were the first time you are seeing that one thing, and soon you will begin to find out how nothing is really all the same, everything is unique, and each day is unique.