AmIJonah
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AmIJonah

Curiosity — it’s the new black

I have no idea who “The Weeknd” is. No surprise here that my lack of awareness of this pop music icon is further evidence of me being an old white guy. First time I heard of him was, of course, doing the halftime show a month ago — and like many of you other old farts the mindset I had before actually hearing a single note there was no way in heck he was going to eclipse the show Prince laid down back in the day.

Second quarter comes to a close, and here comes the performer out on stage, doing MJ-inspired moves better than I ever would dream. At the outset, I was actually enjoying the show — and likely was well on my way to enjoying the talent on display for the next 10–15 minutes.

But then I did something I should not have done.

I looked at my social media.

And rather than joining in as a spectator for the music being shared and possibly learning some new tunes (I need some, I have the Hamilton soundtrack running on loop in my head nowadays), I got distracted and attracted to the noise. Social media quickly got flooded by all the snark, all the cynicism, all the judgement that is so easy to toss to the wind for others to consume. People making fun of the videography, things being worn by the performers, comparing to other SB performances that they thought was better (guilty on that one myself).

It got even worse when the misanthropes grew in to those who wanted to find the evil, scary, moral faux pas that they imagined being espoused here in between commercials for Doritos and M&M’s. Before this Canadian could even get off the stage, FB memes were being circulated with a screenshot that declared what I was watching a satanic ritual.

And just like a moth draw to the light of the bug zapper, I got sucked in. And the curmudgeonry of so many zapped me.

This happens to so much more by so many in our day. When faced with something new, something unfamiliar, something worthy of our discovery — we allow ourselves to be drawn back into the relative safety of our known boundaries armed with the weapons of the cynic.

The only reason I first started watching the Ted Lasso show was because I thought that the first incarnation of the character was hysterical (NBC used it for promotions for its coverage of English Soccer). I am thankful that I did, because it was a truly enjoyable first season of a binge-worthy show.

The scene below may not make complete sense if you haven’t watched the show, but the message serves as an antidote to the life-sucking cynicism that runs rampant today

What will you do when someone offers something that you are not familiar with? What is your reaction when someone offers a differing opinion? Will you judge it against the norms of the tribe in which we find ourselves so firmly ensconsed?

Curiosity is where we grow, and where our lives can become even richer. Curiosity is where we can began span the chasms that have separated us on disparate ends of the political spectrum. Curiosity is where our world can, or must, come together.

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