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Sunday
May152016

The Siblings: Noticing and Curiosity

Yes Noticing and curiosity are siblings. You must be curious in order to Notice. Otherwise, you see things all the time, but they don’t register. It takes curiosity to note them, to wonder about them, to make them part of your life.

Consider two people walking down the street together on a breezy spring day. One will Notice how the leaves are blooming on the trees and how the clouds are floating by. He will say to his friend, “Look at how the clouds change the colors of the leaves as they drift above them.” The friend will glance up and say, “Huh. So listen to what kind of crazy meeting I need to be in on Monday.”  Preoccupation is the enemy of curiosity.

Curiosity is the polite cousin of nosiness. I happen to be very nosy. If you were polite, though, you would describe me as curious. (Hmmm. Double entendre here, as the French say.)

For example, when you are on a road trip, do you look out of the car window as you travel through towns and wonder, “How do the people here live their lives? Where do they work? Where do they shop for groceries? For clothes? What do they do in their free time?” I always ask myself these questions. I look for possible places of work. I look for the schools, the restaurants and bars, the athletic fields, the firehouse, the stores, and anything else that might give a hint at what life is like in that town. Why? I dunno….just nosy, I guess.

On the other hand, I could argue that it is always a good thing to try to understand other people’s lifestyles and culture…and to actually meet them and talk to them if at all possible. Might this lead to more understanding and less prejudice? Maybe nosiness, curiosity, and finally Noticing, are the very first steps to that.

So no matter what crosses in front of your eyes whether in nature or something man-made, I suggest you stick your nose out a bit and nurture your curiosity. You may be amazed by what you Notice.

I think a toast to these awesome siblings is in order: Here’s to curiosity and Noticing, and to their cousin too, the overbearing but kindhearted, nosiness. Cheers!

©2016 Margery Leveen Sher

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