If someone asked me which two values I’d most like to pass on to my future children (the lucky devils), I’d say compassion and curiosity. Why? Because I think they are the two values that have the power to completely change your life. Life isn’t all sunshine and smiles but when it is, being compassionate and curious is easy. When it’s not, these two values become vital. It’s when compassion and curiosity are missing from your life that you notice how essential they really are.
Losing Your Mojo
If you’ve ever felt depressed or anxious, you’ll probably have lost interest in learning, meeting new people or doing new things. You’ve lost your curious nature. Compassion for yourself, and others, also goes out the window right when you need it most.
If you’re anything like me, when you feel stressed or down, you go into overdrive. I’d spend my evenings in the gym, my weekends going hard, making sure I felt like I was ‘having a life‘ outside of work and family stress. All that did for me was burn me out.
As someone who graduated last year, I’ve seen this impact too many of my friends. I’ve been there. Your time and energy is consumed almost entirely by work. Weekends are mostly filled with either more work or distractions such as drinking a shit ton.
You don’t give yourself enough recovery time so you’re running on empty. You can’t show up for your friends or your family. Your whole life ends up revolving around getting through each day. A few months ago, I’d stopped reading, listening to podcasts and catching up with friends. I desperately missed learning and feeling inspired. This affected everyone around me.
Live Your Most Curious Life.
Ever had a conversation with someone where you’ve asked every single question? Painful, isn’t it? The best people are curious. They want to know about you, about things you care about and about this magical (if a bit shitty at times) called life. Curious people read, travel, create, experiment, learn, change, grow. Explorers, thinkers, philosophers, scientists, artists; they don’t have to be eccentric or extraordinary. They just have to be driven to ask endless questions.
Wise People Are Curious
Here are some people far wiser than myself agreeing that curiosity is what makes the world go round.
“I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.” – Eleanor Roosevelt (politician, activist and #mumgoals)
“The first and simplest emotion which we discover in the human mind, is curiosity” – Edmund Burke (18th century Irish Statesmen)
“It’s a crazy world out there. Be curious” – Stephen Hawking (Science’s brightest star)
“Curiosity is the lust of the mind” – Thomas Hobbes (17th century English philosopher)
Wise People Are Compassionate Too
So now we agree that curiosity is pretty great; it’s fundamental to human life. What about compassion?
“Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.” – Nelson Mandela
“I learned compassion from being discriminated against. Everything bad that’s ever happened to me has taught me compassion.” – Ellen Degeneres
“Compassion reduces our fear, boosts our confidence, and opens us to inner strength. By reducing distrust, it opens us to others and brings us a sense of connections with them and a sense of purpose and meaning in life.” – Dalai Lama
“As I get older, the more I stay focused on the acceptance of myself and others, and choose compassion over judgement and curiosity over fear” – Tracee Ellis Ross (American actress and all around rockstar)
I only found this last one after I started this blog but I can’t tell you how happy it made me! It mentions both compassion and curiosity. Damn, Tracee Ellis and I are on the same page and that makes me tingle a little bit. In a nutshell, there’s a little introduction to compassion and curiosity.
I have a curious little pig as the mascot or logo for this blog because a) they represent compassion and curiosity and b) pigs are my favourite! Animals are so often curious. They don’t worry about being judged. We’re most curious as children, constantly learning, constantly playing. Small children don’t worry that they’re asking silly questions. They’re infinitely curious and naturally compassionate. If you give a toddler an apple and a lamb, they will eat the apple and play with the lamb. We are naturally compassionate and I don’t think many people would argue with the opinion that we’re at our happiest and healthiest when we are our true selves.
Choosing Compassion and Curiosity and seeing what happens…
In every aspect of our lives, from interacting with others, making life decisions and even choosing what to put on my plate, I can either choose to be compassionate and curious or not, and so can you. I’ll be talking about all aspects of life through the lens of these values. Please don’t mistake me for someone who is the embodiment of compassion and curiosity because I’m certainly not!
I’m just a girl trying to keep my eyes and heart open as I go through life, documenting the experiences I have with that (good, bad and ugly) along the way.
If you want to read a little more about what compassion and curiosity really mean to me, check out their series intros!