“Stand in as many pairs of shoes as you can manage, even ones you consider reprehensible or repulsive — even if it’s just for a moment. If you’re going to be a tourist, be a respectful one. Observe, report, imagine, invent, have fun…” Ben Folds
On my most recent donor trips to Uganda, I traveled with one of our guests, Anna. Anna is a 24-year-old nurse that works in a hospital Emergency Room and is about to enter her first year of medical school to become a physician. The pressure common to an ER nurse allows her a lot of time off, which she devotes to world travel. Anna’s greatest fear in life is boredom. She hungers for new learning experiences and meeting new people.
I so relate to Anna because she takes full advantage of one of the most common, yet maybe most ignored, human attributes, Curiosity! Curiosity is the driver of all invention and satisfies our hidden, yet always lingering, need to discover the radical phenomena of life on a magnificent and diverse planet.
The Transformation of Desire
It is so easy to get stuck pursuing our Holy Grail called the American Dream: Cars, houses, careers, as well as that ugly desire to be admired for our accomplishments becomes our goal in life. Unfortunately, pursuit of the American Dream often leads to a preconceived notion of “the good life” which ultimately turns out to be merely “the busy life.” Curiosity and hunger for “new experiences” get buried and blocked. As a result we suffer from dissatisfaction and emotional despair.
If we settle we lose interest in the new. We lose that Explorer residing in the heart to recognize depths of our curious soul. I love Ben Folds encouragement for us to “stand in as many pairs of shoes as you can manage”—even if they appear to be odd or reprehensible.
World travel is not a requisite for Exploring. Friends of mine took up tango dancing just for the fun of it and today they are hooked. Experimentation with life is contagious. Once you try something odd or weird you will surely become hooked on the new and adventurous. Who knows, you might even discover a new passion.
Are you “livin’ it right?”
In his song Why Georgia John Mayer asks the question at least three times, “Am I livin’ it right?” What about you? Are you “livin’ it right?
What have you always wanted to “try” but could never seem to find the time. Bah Humbug. Instead, dig deep and rediscover your Explorer. Give your curiosity a chance to change your life.
Satisfy Your Curiosity
Discover the Thrilling Life of the New
Photo courtesy of istockphoto