Choose to be Curious

Ethnography & Cultures of Curiosity

“There’s nothing on this planet that isn’t worth contemplating.” ~ John L. Jackson, Jr. 

John L. Jackson, Jr. is an anthropologist, ethnographer, filmmaker, teacher and dean of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. He’s also a marvelous champion for the importance of curiosity in every time and place.

Listen to Choose to be Curious #85: Ethnography & Cultures of Curiosity, with John L. Jackson, Jr.

What I Learned: At its best, teaching communication skills is really teaching informed and respectful listening skills.

What I Loved: “We are the folks who are responsible for the version of the culture that we pass on,” says John. And with that he holds each of us, individually and severally, accountable for our contributions to the future of our planet. I’ve tried to feel the weight of this charge every day since. I believe we all should.

John offers a challenge: that we reconsider curiosity as a fundamental and all-too-often neglected element of what it means to be a human being with a purpose. What if we really look and listen differently, with a purpose — and, as my dad likes to say, if we change our point of view —  might we see something new? That was the thread in this week’s “Curiosity to Go” segment with John and photographer Jason Horowitz.

How might we embody attention?

Listen to Curiosity to Go, Ep. 58: Embody Attention

John L. Jackson, Jr. is the second in my series of interviews with the contributing authors to the forthcoming anthology Curiosity Studies: A New Ecology of Knowledge (University of Minnesota Press, 2020). Learn more about the series here, and stay tuned for future episodes!

More about John L. Jackson Jr. and his work.

Theme music by Sean Balick.  Check out Sean’s new album “From the Pines” .

You can subscribe to Choose to be Curious on Apple Podcasts/ iTunes and Stitcher.

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*Any purchase from the Choose to be Curious shop supports Arlington Independent Media. Please also consider making a donation at wera.fm. Thanks!

Jackson - There's nothing on the planet that isn't worth contemplating

Choose to be Curious

Can We Choose to be Curious?

“I have to confess: it’s hard to prove that we can choose.” ~ Asia Ferrin

I’m poking at my own assumptions — at my very premise — and asking: can we choose to be curious? American University philosophy professor Asia Ferrin wasn’t going to let me get away with making it her job to answer the question. She pulled me right in there with her.

What I Learned: morality might be more hardwired than we’ve been inclined to believe.

What I Loved: conversations about curiosity and choice might actually be conversations about compassion.

Listen to Choose to be Curious #84: Can We Choose to Be Curious? with Asia Ferrin

My choice of “choose” was not accidental in naming my show. I believe that we reveal our true selves through our choices, however free they may actually be, and — as with exercise or eating right or courtesies — choosing to be curious is a decision we make about how we show up for life.

Or on the stage! Talking with Asia about choosing made me think of actor Jesse Robinson and our conversation about the choices he makes in improvisational theater…

Listen to Curiosity to Go, Ep. 57:  A Matter of Choice

More about Asia Ferrin and the Curiosity, Mindfulness and Education workgroup at American University, of which I am honored to be a part.

Theme music by Sean Balick.  Check out Sean’s new album “From the Pines” .

You can subscribe to Choose to be Curious on Apple Podcasts/ iTunes and Stitcher.

Check out the Choose to be Curious shop!*

*Any purchase from the Choose to be Curious shop supports Arlington Independent Media. Please also consider making a donation at wera.fm. Thanks!

PIX - every choice matters.