Saturday, January 17, 2009

Curiosity vs. Fundamentalism

Not only is Seth Godin a business and marketing genius, he also has an uncanny understanding of human nature. I could talk/type a long time about his latest book, Tribes (click on the title in my book section on the right to check it out) -- and very well may write another post or two on my ruminations from the book -- but here's what is churning inside me right now. It can be summed up in this quote from Godin:

"A fundamentalist is a person who considers whether a fact is acceptable to his religion before he explores it; as opposed to a curious person who explores first and then considers whether or not he wants to accept the ramifications.

"A curious person embraces the tension between his religion and something new, wrestles with it and through it, and then decides whether to embrace the new idea or reject it."

It's impossible to read this book and not consider the question of what 'tribe' I belong to. Seth Godin has helped me articulate it. Yes, I'm of the tribe of faith, I'm of the tribe of art and creativity, I'm of the tribe of entrepreneurship -- but I think the best term to succinctly describe the tribe of World to the Wise, it's this:

I'm of the tribe of the culturally curious.

Godin describes curiosity as a desire to understand, a desire to try, a desire to push whatever envelope is interesting. Curiosity has to do with searching for your voice until you find it -- very often against great odds. Many times the curious are punished -- and, sadly enough, nowhere does that happen more often than in organized religion and education.

"What we're seeing is that fundamentalism really has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with an outlook, regardless what your religion is."

This blog -- and everything that is to come out of World to the Wise -- is for the culturally curious. The ones who look at the 'whys' as much as the 'whats'. The ones whose only fear is losing their sense of fascination with this planet and the diversity of the peoples that have been placed on it. The ones who believe that this diveristy is not some great cosmic mistake, but on the contrary, that there is something of the Divine on the face and in the heart of every culture.

Stay tuned for the announcement of the inaugural World to the Wise Cultural Tour, followed by lots of other exciting developments. We're just getting started.


Anonymous said...

Good conversation to be had. So true about the "curious often being punished'.

Petvin said...

Wonderful words indeed! Let's stay curious. Let's respect and preserve the uniqueness and divinity in all cultures. Let's believe in the multitude of colours, cultures and beliefs. Let's embrace our differences and choose a world where all has a place of value. Let's be curious with our arms open to all...