While flying last month, I could not help but notice the significant body art of my seatmate. She had floral images the length of her leg with beautiful lilies, roses, and cherry blossoms. My immediate (and judgmental) thought was, why would anyone want all that permanent ink on their body?
Thankfully, I changed my mind to curiosity, and asked her about the significance of the art, how long it took, if it hurt, and even permission to take a photo of it. She seemed more than happy to share the story of each image and the more I learned about it, the more intrigued I became.
1. Curiosity keeps us interested and interesting.
I learned a lot about body art, including how intentional and intricate the technique and meaning are to create the design.
2. Curiosity slows us down.
It’s so easy to make a snap judgment and move on to the next thing, while asking curious questions takes time and attention.
3. Curiosity keeps us present and in the moment.
I connected not just to the body art, but to the woman herself who was wearing it.
4. Curiosity keeps us open.
Learning the story and meaning behind her body art gave me a completely different perspective than I had before.
5. Curiosity feels good to the giver and the receiver.
It felt great to learn about something I had no experience with and my seatmate appeared quite proud to share her story with me.
While I’m not ready to get a tattoo myself, I have a new appreciation for it, knowing more about the intimate expression for those who create and wear it. Choosing curiosity over judgement is an act of compassion and a great way to practice Self-Leadership.
Where could you replace judgement with curiosity to cultivate compassion today?