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An Attitude of humble curiosity

"If you can approach the world's complexities, both its glories and its horrors, with an attitude of humble curiosity, acknowledging that no matter how deeply you have seen, you have only scratched the surface, you will find worlds within worlds, beauties that you could not heretofore imagine, and your own mundane preoccupations will shrink to proper size, not all that important in the greater scheme of things."


This comes from a 1995 book by the philosopher Daniel Dennet. I think it tells us a couple of things.


First of all that we cannot know or capture everything - we can only know a little. In our world dominated by 24 hour news feeds we feel sometimes a duty to be across everything - all the angles, the stories and the breaking news - and we cannot be that. We have no moral obligation to be so nor any innate capacity to stretch so far. And we are not obliged to see the horror of if all either - its ok to close our eyes to it if the pain is too great.


Secondly if we can notice that we can go to another place were we are more able to see space in our minds and understand that we are finite as is our time. And that those things we think are utterly essential and must be done today will in all likelihood not matter at all in a year and maybe much sooner.


In the great scheme of things what we do is probably not that important so we might as well choose to do something that is meaningful and joyful to us and let some of these bigger preoccupations go.


Have a lovely weekend.

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