Originally published in Coffee Party USADebilyn Molineaux, Coffee Party USA
Remember asking questions when you were a child? Or perhaps you remember your own children asking question after question? This curiosity becomes a superpower when we allow ourselves to learn from others and perhaps, even influence our beliefs.
Here’s what I’ve learned with my superpower of curiosity:
- A young woman I met on a plane was avidly pro-life. I’m pro-choice. When we shared our life experiences, I learned she had been born blind and as a result, abandoned on the streets of New Delhi. She was grateful for her life and the opportunities her adoptive family had given her. She wanted everyone to have the opportunities she felt blessed to receive. Had I not asked questions, I would have missed connecting with a phenomenal woman who was a double-major in college and wanted to be a lawyer.
- A family member asked me to refrain from talking about politics…which as a political advocate is a large part of my life. My feelings were hurt! When I asked for more information, I learned that my family had two concerns. They believed we would disagree AND they felt ill-prepared to talk with me about my work or politics in general because my depth of knowledge was greater than theirs. So basically, they thought it would be an unfair fight to talk about politics. Who would want that? I offered instead to be a resource for them…someone they could call to get information. No discomfort or fighting! (Now we tease each other about shopping–or not–at Walmart!)
- During a Living Room Conversation on criminal justice, I learned about the “criminal lifestyle.” A formerly incarcerated man shared his experience of choosing different life than the criminal lifestyle…and how that meant leaving behind his entire life…all family and friends, to start over. A single person, his pastor, believed in him and supported his new life. My compassion for the incredible challenges people face coming out of prison increased dramatically.
Engage your superpowers and share your stories with us. (The Superpower of Respect was featured in March 2015.)