A friend asked me recently, “What’s the best way to spread love and peace in this world?” I gave it some thought and realized that the only way is through intimacy. Intimacy is at the core a personal connection between two people.
Sadly we’re living in a very closed, defensive culture. Media on both philosophical extremes keep feeding us reasons to be afraid of one another. Apart from communication among immediate family members and among some members of spiritual communities, there seems to be no time for anyone else, even friends.
So how do we enter into a more intimate connection with others, where love and peace prevail?
Curiosity! Curiosity comes naturally to us; it’s an instinct that has keeps us safe and alive, helps us find information we need, and is at the heart of all social interaction. When I am curious about a person, it prompts conversation where each of us wants to know a bit more, to delve a bit deeper, to care and empathize. Such is the miracle of becoming interested and connecting…and filling a void in each other’s lives that adds something of quality.
Being curious is a great way to establish instantly a degree of intimacy that says, “I see you. I acknowledge and honor your existence. I appreciate your presence. I would like to share a moment with you.”
Some people may think I’m being nosey. ‘Nosey’ is when we invade people’s space or ignore the signals they are giving that they are busy, distracted, or just want to be left alone. ‘Nosey’ is also asking probing, personal questions, especially on sensitive topics, or framing questions aggressively, or even flirting in an entirely wrong context.
No, I’m going for a rather superficial encounter focused on the obvious: the weather, the venue, the present task, or compliments. I find that most people are open to others if they initiate a polite and affirming remark. Nearly everyone loves an opportunity to get out of their own heads for a moment and share a bit of their own joys and struggles, to laugh, and to feel noticed for the right reasons.
The right kind of curiosity is a vehicle for love. It conveys that we’re not alone, that no matter how ‘different’ the other looks or sounds, they are just like us, our brother or sister in the human family. Curiosity brings the peace of knowing I am not alone in the world.
I’d love to hear about your journey! Schedule a 45-minute meeting with me.