Mary here — your Paterson Podcast Producer. In this week’s episode, we are continuing our conversation around Core Values, by exploring a theme that greatly defines the life and legacy of Tom Paterson: Socratic Curiosity.
Tom lived a life full of socratic curiosity, always wondering what was really true, what else could be possible, and never assuming things had to stay the same just because “that’s the way things had always been.” His curiosity, and his creativity, went hand-in-hand.
Staying truly open and curious can be a challenge. We live in an era flooded with information; for every fact we’re searching for, and every question we have, an answer is almost always at our fingertips. Knowledge and facts are valued and prized. People with answers are respected and sought after. It can feel shameful to be perceived as one who doesn’t know, who doesn’t have the answers, or who isn’t sure.
Socratic Curiosity is both a posture and a practice; it’s about entering into life, relationships, and conversations and understanding that we don’t know the whole picture. Socratic Curiosity is about embracing the fact that although we don’t know, we are willing to seek and to learn. It’s about releasing preconceived notions in exchange for truth; a posture of being genuinely curious. It’s about humility, and an openness to surprise… it’s the difference between being open to new possibilities rather than simply cataloging solutions.
Oftentimes it is fear that prevents us from being socratic and curious. If we stay within the confines of our fear, we run the risk of shutting down creativity and missing truth that could lead to new possibilities and realities. The challenge, then, is how do we turn towards that fear and practice socratic curiosity in our daily lives?
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Thanks for listening.