There are so many qualities I hope to foster and encourage in Margot. Gentleness, kindness, peacefulness, joy... you get the idea. But one thing that I think is incredibly important and often lost in an age of divisiveness and things like social media bickering is curiosity. To me, curiosity is a humble desire to say, "I don't know everything, and I actually WANT to understand, enter in, and explore the mysterious and that which is personally uncomfortable." From people to places, I desire that she would be the kind of soul that would rather look wide-eyed at the world and learn than assume she has nothing to gain from that posture. So here's what I'm practicing right now to encourage and foster her curious heart -- and perhaps they're things we should do for one-another as well.
CREATE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT
An environment that feels threatening or unsafe means she'll be primarily worried about protecting herself. And while self-preservation and curiosity may not be mutually-exclusive, they equally don't go hand-in-hand. That is to say - if she's worried about protecting her most basic sense of safety, she won't have the mental or emotional freedom to look beyond herself. To be clear, this is not a "safe zone" in the current socio-political sense that I'm fostering her to be incapable of having tough conversations lest her feels get hurt, this is the opposite of that. This is helping her to know that differences are actually a natural part of the human experience and it's how we choose to engage with it all that makes the difference. How does one achieve this? It's the little things. Like holding her close and squeezing her (communicating physical safety and security), and not over-reacting when she misbehaves, and even modeling it for her in how I interact with those around me (emotional safety and security).
I am a firm believer in at least two layers of questioning. In other words - what's the question behind the question? Going a layer deeper than whatever lies on the surface or just below it. I've found that's where wisdom and understanding begin -- when those deeper questions are asked and answered. And the best thing I can do for Margot is help her navigate and explore her questions as she begins to form them. Yes, she's only two - but it starts now. Example: when someone's a jerk -- it's not enough to say, "What's their problem?!" Perhaps a more powerful question would be, "What has led them to a place where they are operating from a place of hurt?" and then we could even get crazy and ask, "What could I do to be an agent of healing in their life?"
Ego and curiosity cannot coexist. Or at least that's my opinion on the matter. Humility is a sense of honest self-reflection, and then responding in like form to the people and circumstances that happen in each moment of life. It's releasing personal agenda. It's a jrejection of pride. And it's only when I release personal agenda that I'm able to engage with curiosity, and teach Margot to do the same.
You might notice that this particular music uses the personal pronoun "I" quite frequently. That's because if fostering curiosity in Margot will ever be a real thing -- it will first happen because she sees it in me. And my hope is that she'll see it in you too. (Assuming you know her? Okay whatever. I'll stop.) Cheers, dear ones.