Multicultural Community

Uncommon Curiosity [by Becky Thurman]

If you tell me that something is really spicy, the first thing I’m going to do is smell it…to see what kind of spice it is. There are different kinds you know!

If you tell me that there is this amazing song on this new album, I am going to go and find it so I can hear it for myself. And so I can know what you think is amazing.

I think I’ve always had this curiosity in me to one degree or another. I grew up in the country and my brother and sister were a generation older than I was. I had 60 acres of woods behind my house and the nearest neighbor was a quarter of a mile away and 70 years old. So I learned to explore the world in search of adventure.

Maybe I can blame my life on that simple upbringing. Or maybe, just maybe this curiosity is born into us. Most children have this. This insatiable desire to figure things out by taking things apart, or imagining other worlds that are not like the one they live in, or creating high-rise buildings out of stones, or carving horses out of a piece of wood. Children can slay dragons with tiniest of swords!

Perhaps that’s why the Proskuneo School of the Arts works. It is a safe place for a young boy to sit down at a piano and plunk his way through “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and imagine that he is playing a concerto at Carnegie Hall. And little girls put on pink ballet slippers and they seem to grow fairy wings as they twirl.

What is more uncommon is the adult who can do the same. Somewhere in our middle years between carefree and commonplace, some of us lose our sense of wonder. But here at Proskuneo, we like to create these special spaces. It is here that I found mine again.

I looked at a young man who was passionately executing a spoken word piece and thought maybe I have that kind of bravery still inside of me. I have to admit that my lion’s roar sounded more like a purr. But I did it. And it sparked more.

I met a young man who didn’t speak English and I asked how to say “thank you” in his language. And that helped me to be bold enough to ask how to say “how are you?” And then I went to his church and hung out with his friends and learned even more.

Once I decided to let curiosity win over cautious…I began to live again. And now I enjoy a plethora of experiences I never knew existed. I think you have to have a sense of curiosity to do this work. What does it sound like, taste like, feel like, smell like, and look like to live and work with people from other places?

From my perspective it’s a lot like what I imagine heaven to be like. Aren’t you even just a little bit curious?

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