In the fantastic Apple TV show “Ted Lasso”, Ted drops a quote that he attributes to Walt Whitman: “Be curious, not judgmental“. It likely was never said by Whitman, but the effect of the quote still stands. In the case of Ted Lasso, Ted wraps this around it:
Guys have underestimated my entire life. And for years I never understood why. It used to really bother me. But then one day I was driving my little boy to school and I saw this quote from Walt Whitman painted on the wall there that said “Be curious. Not Judgmental.” I like that.
So I get back in my car and I’m driving to work and all of sudden it hits me. All them fellas who used to belittle me, not a single one of them was curious. You know, they thought they had everything figured out. So they judged everything. And they judged everyone. And I realized that their underestimating me, who I was had nothing to do with it. Because if they were curious, they would have asked questions.
You can see the scene play out here:
It ties a lot into the idea of trying to understand “how someone could think that way” that I shared a few days ago. They might be uninformed, or perhaps they have more information that you do. You could judge and ridicule them, or you could find out what’s really behind their actions.
Be curious, ask more questions.