The older I get, the less I know. That’s a good thing.
But it is also a by-product of humility.
There was another way my story could have gone. When it became apparent that my girlfriend’s three year old granddaughter knew better how to access a passworded tablet than I did, I could have doubled down on my certainty and pretended that I actually did know how to open that tablet up, but was giving the three year old a thrill. Or, I could have gotten stubborn and said, “Technology is for babies!” and stubbornly refused to learn.
Instead, I humbly learned from a three year old. She is awfully cute and made it easy for me to learn from her. It was easy because everything this child does intrigues me, I’m very interested in her, and constantly curious about what she is learning and how her life is going.
Curiosity is a great gift and can help us avoid the sticky trap of unconscious living. Humility and curiosity are great companions. If humility seems like too big a stretch, which it often does to me, might I suggest trying to have a curious frame of mind?
What if when your spouse or boss or child or friend does something that you find annoying or frustrating or anxiety producing or just plain old wrong….instead of reacting, what if you became curious? Ask some questions, inquire about their thoughts and feelings and ideas and intentions.
Last night I got on my high horse with Pete while trying to pull a card table out from under our bed. I did a silly thing and jumped to a conclusion and then hit the panic button because I thought our dining room table extender thingys were sitting on top of each other (also under our bed), and I just had a little fit. He calmly explained that I was wrong, and they were not even touching. To which I decided to be curious rather than right, re-examined the situation and discovered, sadly, that he was correct.
Because I want to be a decent human “being”, I immediately apologized and told him that (shockingly) he was correct. Ok, ok, I’m still in process. But my point is the same – humility is a beautiful thing, so let’s practice it.