The Curious Response

Alice in Wonderland, Image by Prawny from Pixabay

It’s easy to feel like Alice in Wonderland these days. Sometimes, I think I am slipping down the rabbit hole, as life gets curiouser and curiouser. Covid-19. Economic uncertainty. The presidential election in the US. Climate crises. All these things ~ and more ~ can make us feel like the world and our lives are out of control.

I specialize in helping people through life transitions. Sometimes it’s a wedding. Other times it’s a funeral. Occasionally, I help people celebrate a retirement, bless a new house, or mark the transition to adulthood. It is an honor to be with people during these liminal moments.

Yet, we often forget to give attention to life transitions that come about due to external national or global circumstances. Covid-19 brought about unexpected global change in an extremely short period of time. It may feel like the world we thought we knew does not exist anymore – and that is largely correct.

As the Covid-19 pandemic dragged one, and the US election ramped up, I found myself looking to social media and news outlets for answers to my ever multiplying questions. “How long will this last?” “Who’s going to win?” “When can I go back to normal?”

What I was really asking was, “Am I ~ is my family ~ going to be okay?” Eventually, I realized that I wasn’t going to find the answer to that question on social media or in the news. That’s when I put my iPad down and looked up at the world around me.

Perhaps one response to the world getting curiouser and curiouser is for us to get more curious. When we get curious, we stop trying to fill our heads with answers and start asking interesting questions. As Albert Einstein is quoted in Life magazine May 1955:

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when one contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries to comprehend only a little of this mystery every day.

The world is a curious place. Perhaps, if we get curiouser, if we stop looking for answers and, instead, fill our heads with questions ~ questions like “What can I learn about myself, about others, about the world?” ~ we can discover new ways to live with courage and hope.

Ask interesting questions and behold a little of the mystery everyday!