Curiosity: A door to inclusion

Inclusion is a room where we meet to dialogue and create equitable living. This room has two main doors, one where those who want to include others enter, another where those who want to be included enter.

 

Photo of a smiling, little girl peeking out of behind her mother.

Curiosity

In each live, in each interview and in each conference the same question appears; complex as an arithmetic operation and inextricable as a philosophical postulate: how do we do to be more inclusive?

Each conversation is a golden opportunity to sow one more seed of inclusion, so the anxiety of giving the infallible recipe to achieve it overcomes me. Everything is useless. There is no answer, much less in its short and universal version. But a few days ago, talking with a blind woman from Germany, we came up with a point that seemed transcendent to develop inclusion, and best of all, it is a single word: Curiosity!

Curiosity drought

Without curiosity there is no inclusion. Anyone who is not curious about someone is invaded by indifference, and inclusion does not flourish in this ground. And I have to confess that I am worried. My son is in the first grade of kindergarten, and one of the topics that his teacher presented was curiosity; She told us, parents, that they have noticed a decrease in curiosity in children in recent years.

Can you imagine a world without questions, only with answers? Today we are already living a beta version of that know-it-all world: a polarized society, in constant shock, on the defensive, disqualifying, canceling, sensing ... And more to follow.

The obstacles of curiosity

The most common obstacle to curiosity is embarrassment. However, today I see another even bigger barrier: respect, rather, a disinterest that we disguise as respect and where we justify ourselves in that we are not curious so as not to offend or hurt, so as not to transfer a personal space. This disinterest disguised as respect is one of the great symptoms that we are becoming an individualistic and self-centered society. We prefer to stay in our bubble and not experience the complexities of others. That is pure disinterest. But we prefer to call it respect, and we feel better when we tell ourselves that we don't mess with anyone, and that we respect each other's life.

Take care of the intention

It's easy to avoid offending, hurting, or violating someone's privacy when we're curious; it's a matter of remembering to be kind. Intention is everything.

The Spanish adjective that annoys me the most when someone wants to refer to my disability is the word "cieguito" which is like “little blind.” But even the "cieguito " said with the right intention, with genuine kindness or curiosity, becomes the gateway to a conversation. If you intend to be inclusive, pry with the intention of learning and understanding. Ask and be nice. There is no other door to enter inclusion.

Pepe Macias