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Wide or Narrow

The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot forever fence it out. ~ JRR Tolkien

Start wide, expand further, and never look back. ~Arnold Schwarzenegger

Let’s not be narrow, nasty, and negative. ~ TS  Eliot

There is in true beauty, as in courage, something which narrow souls cannot dare to admire. ~ William Congreve

Certainty narrows, curiosity widens. ~ Bob McInnis

We live in a world of unparalleled possibilities yet more often than not we rely on the tried and true heuristics that worked yesterday and on all our yesterdays. Fear, laziness, complacency or ignorance convince us that there is ‘nothing new in this world’ that is worth exploring, worth trying, worth learning. In my not so humble opinion, there is everything new in this world, and I can soak it up, synthesize it, reflect on it and then reflect the as yet unimagined creation to those willing to see it.

My youngest grandson loves binoculars. At three, he prefers to look through them backward from how I use them. He ‘likes things far away’ better than close up. I have tried them both ways at his insistence and realize that I see more clearly having seen the tree and seen the leaves. Simply by adding one perspective widened my view of and appreciation for the world. If I had continued to bring things close, I wouldn’t have seen the forest.

When I read Robert Sapolsky, YH Harari, and Ali Bryan over the last few months, my perspective widened. When I investigated and booked a trek, my world became wider. (and when we climb the Via Feratta, it broadens). By looking at the world differently, we see a different world. When we read or listen to a new voice, our understanding gets broader. If I go somewhere and do something for the first time my experience of life is deeper.

I can be a creature of habit and choose to live narrowly, or I can opt for richness and surprise. Mediocrity lives and thrives in habitual practice, routine observations and rigid, echo chamber ideas.

This week, let’s explore getting wider and broader.
B

The Cultural Curiosity Daily will be a hodgepodge on some days and a treatise on others. If you are entertained, provoked, inspired, edified or angered by any of it you can respond with comments and as always you can ‘buy me a coffee.

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