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"Be Curious"

(Photo: My Mother, Me, My Daughter, My Granddaughters)


Like many, my childhood memories are as vivid as if they happened just yesterday. Reflecting on those formative years, I realize how my mother's resilience has profoundly shaped who I am today.


Our family support systems, or their absence, lay the foundations for our worldviews. Despite our efforts, we cannot completely escape the love, hate, biases, racism, sexism, and more that were instilled in us at our parents' knees.


Last weekend, after brunch, an elderly man in his car gestured to me. He handed me a card with a poem he wrote about his wife titled "Love," a tribute to his late wife and the mother of his children.


I began to delve deeper into this kind soul, who, unbeknownst to him, was my guardian angel that day. He showed me even more about being curious.


The poem unexpectedly moved me. It reminded me of my mother's and father's love and the lessons in courage, leadership, philanthropy, and curiosity I learned in that house on Kramer Street.


My mother taught me about beauty, style, and curiosity. As a social worker, she showed me how to see people truly. She educated me about judgment and how pointing out someone's flaws with an accusatory finger means three fingers are pointing back at you.


When we learn from our parents, especially our mothers, to be fair and loving to all people and to admit when we are wrong, we can view the entire world through a lens that extends beyond mere equity.


As a mother myself, I wanted my children to be curious about the world around them. I wanted them to ask questions and open themselves up to not knowing all the answers.


"Be curious," my mother said. "Be curious about people, places, and things. Be curious, not judgmental."


As mothers, we have to instill curiosity in our children. Curiosity eradicates biases and judgments, and it fosters excellent leadership qualities.


Leaders exist in a society governed by narratives, often shaped by the prevailing culture. These narratives, which we come to accept, do not necessarily reflect the truth.


Asking questions leads to greater authenticity and transparency. Here are some insights I gained from my mother on nurturing curiosity:


  1. Allocate time to listen more closely; curiosity requires active listening.

  2. Accept the discomfort that may come with inquiry.

  3. Be willing to share your own experiences.

  4. Choose to be around those who embody curiosity.


Remember, curiosity is contagious. Work environments, homes, and social spaces either foster curiosity or the opposite—flat, ego-driven thinking that shapes narratives of bias, racism, and more.


This Mother's Day, encourage your children or grandchildren to be curious about the world around them.

 

Attention Bias

What is attention bias? Attention bias is our tendency to prioritize certain types of stimuli/information over others. At any given moment, an individual's senses can perceive countless stimuli in our immediate surroundings. Threat-related attention bias refers to the tendency to prioritize the processing of threats over benign or neutral stimuli. Is it no wonder we have biases related to race, ethnicity, disability, and more?


Each of us individually generates more information than ever before in human history. We take in almost 90,000 pieces of information daily, yet our brains can only filter in about 10 percent of that information. The rest, well is stored in our subconscious minds and often when we perceive a threat we act upon it.


How do you perceive the world around you and how can you understand your attention bias?


 

The WEBB Advisory Group Presents



The WEBB Center For Social Impact was developed and designed from more than 50 years of lived experience as a Black Woman in America.


Focusing on domestic policy specifically, our institute provides a global worldview perspective for black and brown women from the diaspora living in America today.  

Using research data, lived experiences, and stories of impact, policymakers and leaders can understand the social impacts various policies have on black and brown children and women, today and tomorrow.  

In response to various incidents in our country's recent history, history mustn't repeat itself.  Therefore, the WEBB Center For Social Impact strives to provide voter information, information on issues for policymakers, information for community activists, and information for anyone who seeks to understand the social impacts of public policy on individuals and communities.


 

 WEBB Advisory Group

© 2024 All Rights Reserved

"Inspired (In Spirit), we live and move and have our being."

Learn More About the WEBB Advisory Group


Prayer for the Week


Dear God,

Today, we pray for curiosity. May we have open minds and hearts and be freed from the cynicism that stifles new perspectives. Let who you are inspire our curiosity about the world around us. Grant us the faith of little children to ask questions and challenge beliefs. Today, make us more curious in your way. Lead us in seeking the answers that will make us more like you and bring us closer to you.


"Inspiring Humans...Changing Communities."


"And So It Goes..." is a weekly blog post. We welcome the voices of all people. Are you interested in writing for us? Let us know.

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