Practice Curiosity Before Judgment: A Self-Guided Lifelong Lesson
Practice curiosity before judgment. If you are excited to learn about other people and about our big wide world, this learning guide is for you. Go on a global learning journey to learn about unique, inspiring humans pursuing different purposes and finding meaning in different ways. Explore what you love learning about. Explore what makes you you. Explore what makes us WE.
WE are the guides of our lifelong learning journeys.
Let’s practice curiosity before judgment.
Let’s Be WE.
A Self-Guided Learning Journey For You: Practice Curiosity Before Judgment With Self, Others & Our World
For learning that lasts a lifetime, repeat this experience often with time to reflect and repeat often with new Learning Journeys. Building empathy and understanding is a lifelong practice. Let’s love the lifelong learning journey together.
1) ASK YOURSELF A BIG QUESTION TO PRACTICE CURIOSITY BEFORE JUDGMENT
“Do we know everything about other people? How do we learn about what other people think? How do we learn about what other people feel?”
Think about a story or experience from your own life where you learned something about someone that you didn’t know before. Write this down, or share it with someone you know.
Ask yourself whether there are any similar times you can remember. “Is there a time I can remember learning something new about someone else? About myself? About a culture or way of life?” Reflect on this however you are most comfortable — you can write notes, record audio, create a drawing or sketch, create a movement or dance to think about this, meditate with the memories you are thinking of, or reflect in any other way you feel is helpful to you.
2) RECOGNIZE WONDER & ASSUMPTIONS
BEFORE WATCHING, ask yourself a question or a few. Examples: “What thoughts and feelings come to mind and heart when I think of a(n) ____ in ____? What do I WONDER? Do I know where ____ is in the world?” (For the first question, insert the role in society this person plays, and the country this person is in. For example, “Chai Wala” (Chai Seller) in India or Banana Grower in Ecuador.)
Create four sections on a piece of paper, or anywhere you’d like. Write the thoughts, feelings, and questions you have in one section. NOW WATCH THE WORDLESS VIDEO.
Write notes based on what has been viewed: what do I NOTICE, WONDER, ASSUME/GUESS, and BELIEVE about this new friend from the wordless video?
Pose questions to yourself like: “What do I see and notice about _____? What do I think so far about ___’s community? What do I think ___’s life is like, given what I have seen in the video so far? What other feelings are coming up as I watch and wonder?” Fill these responses in on the middle of your paper / writing space.
3) GROWING BEYOND ASSUMPTIONS
Read The Story (or a few!)
Now begin to read one of ____’s written stories that helps to dive even deeper into the person’s life. Reflect (remember: in any way you feel helpful) on what you are noticing that you didn’t know about _____ before, as a way to remind yourself that you are learning new things you didn’t know. Show yourself that your assumptions you had beforehand are shifting, now that you are learning more about ____. Show yourself you are practicing curiosity before judgment!
Ask yourself: “Is there anything I am learning about this person that I didn’t know before? What am I feeling? What am I thinking about?”
(Remember: our new friend’s wordless video will have 2-4 different written stories that are searchable on the betterworlded.org/stories page. You can read all of the stories related to any person by searching for that person’s name!)
4) BEGIN AN EMPATHY CHALLENGE (CURIOSITY BEFORE JUDGMENT):
“Do I ever guess things about other people before learning more?” Reflect on this, whether it is from the past or even from your experience today when learning about this new friend.
Remember: this doesn’t have to be a tough question. The person writing this learning guide to you guesses things about other people all the time! We all make judgments, and often too early. This happens in our lives. It is not “bad”. It is not “good”. Remember what matters:
What matters is that we are able to recognize that we judged too early — that we jumped to judgment. What matters is that we are able to be humble and honest with ourselves and see that we sometimes do assume before learning more. What matters is we recognize this, and then strive to seek understanding. That we strive to be curious before judging.
What matters is how we commit to becoming less judgmental and more curious and understanding, not for anyone else. But because we want to. Not to sound right. Not to look good. But because we really feel the belonging this can create for ourselves and for others.
Write down an example of how you will strive to be more curious, full of wonder, and empathetic in your own life. If you’d like, you can share this with someone you know. This kind of learning is always wonderful alongside others, too. If you feel more comfortable for now, you can also keep this to yourself, too.
Example: “I will strive to talk to ____ on the way home and wonder and learn about ___’s life. In the past, I haven’t ever asked or acted on my wonder!”).
Having questions is great. It’s wonderful to wonder. Wonderful to have questions. Wonderful to be curious. Remind and reinforce in your mind and heart that curiosity and understanding don’t happen by assuming or judging, but by always asking these questions and wondering.
You may feel — our team sure does — that you already are very curious. That’s amazing. The goal of this learning journey we are on today is to remind ourselves that this way of being — prioritizing curiosity over judgment — is so essential to our ability to love lifelong learning, and to be caring people throughout our lives. And we can always be better.
Whether today, tomorrow, or another day, the next step is simple! Go on a new Learning Journey!
CREATE A CURIOSITY BEFORE JUDGMENT JOURNAL
As you engage in every aspect of life, try to think about times where you jump to judgment before showing curiosity. As you see that you did or didn’t practice curiosity before judgment, you can share these learnings with yourself in your journal / notebook.
Sharing both when you do and do not jump to judgment will be very helpful to see where you are making progress, and to show yourself that we’re not always “perfect”, and that we’re always learning.
This is a lifelong practice and a lifelong learning journey. Being curious before judging is not just something we are or aren’t — that we have or don’t have. Ask others questions about all of this. You can even facilitate this and engage in this learning journey alongside others! You can ask others you know to share moments where curiosity comes up, or where an assumption comes up.
If we all make it a conversation in the day to day of our lives, it will become a practice over time that lasts for a lifetime! Loving learning for life is the goal, right? 🙂
Wordless Stories For Curiosity Before Judgment
Practicing empathy isn’t a one time thing, and it doesn’t end after school. Practicing curiosity before judgement is something we can do for life! Lifelong global learning.
Read more here about why our videos don’t have words: no prescribed narrative, no language barrier! Curriculum that helps early childhood learners prioritize curiosity before judgment from an early age. Through wordless stories — browse below!