Are You Curious Enough?

Do you like to ask “why” questions?

“Why is that important? Why are we doing this? Why are we doing it in this way? Does that make sense?”

Do you get real answers — or answers that sound like these?

“Because I say it is. Because we were told to do this. Because we’ve always done it this way. Because it’s the right way.”

The subtle (or not-so-subtle) message is to stop asking, just be quiet and follow along.

Sometimes, there are even consequences for asking the questions.

We often don’t even think much about it.

I recently received a copy of The Witness Wore Red: The 19th Wife Who Brought Polygamous Cult Leaders to Justice by friend and mentor M. Bridget Cook-Burch, who co-authored the book. It’s the powerful and fascinating story of Rebecca Musser, the wife of a polygamous cult leader who escaped from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ cult (FLDS) and ended up testifying against its leaders.

The book is a testament to Ms. Musser’s courage and transformation, and it was quite a transformation!

One of the biggest realizations in Rebecca’s transformation was understanding just how much she and the other members of the cult were trained to follow the leaders blindly, without curiosity or reason.

“To follow blindly was to shut down our sacred voice of reason and deny the God that lived in each of us.”1

Our sacred voice of reason … how powerful is that phrase?

We have endless curiosity, and we have a voice of reason. They are two of the distinguishing characteristics of human beings. But how often do we shut them down? Or have them shut down? How often are we asked to follow blindly or with a minimum of fuss?

Yes, of course, the cult example is an extreme one, but it struck me as I was reading that it’s not as extreme as we would like to think. There are many companies and organizations that ask for a degree of blind obedience that may not be healthy.

Honestly, there have been a few times in my life when I’ve caught myself in situations where my curiosity was shut down, where I was expected to follow blindly, where too many questions were punished in subtle ways. I have gotten lulled into a false sense of security or a place with a little too much fear, and I gave up a bit of my sacred sense of reason.

When I realized it, I was horrified and immediately started questioning EVERYTHING! But the reality is that it happened. I suspect it happens to most of us at one time or another, even if only briefly.

Has it ever happened to you? Is it happening now?

Yes, it would be exhausting to question everything all the time. Only 5-year-olds have that kind of stamina. There are times when it makes sense just to go along. But not too often.

I’m wishing you the gift of endless curiosity, my friend. Never stop asking questions … even when it’s hard.

With light and love,

12013. Musser, R. with Cook, M.B. The Witness Wore Red: The 19th Wife Who Brought Polygamous Cult Leaders to Justice. New York: Grand Central Publishing. p. 284.

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