Be Curious, Not Judgmental.

Written By: Angela Howard

Be curious, not judgmental. – Walt Whitman

These four simple words have the potential to be life-changing.  Whether we like to admit it or not, it’s easy to be judgmental—especially if we feel threatened, offended, angry or disappointed.  But there’s something about an invitation to curiosity that’s more appealing than judgment.

Curiosity seeks discovery.  Curiosity says humanity and compassion trump self-righteous indignation.  Curiosity says, “Maybe I’m wrong.”

Curiosity says humanity and compassion trump self-righteous indignation. -Angela HowardCLICK TO TWEET

How Can We Be Curious, Not Judgmental?

Believe the best—don’t assume the worst.

Watching my parents practice this principle, I know it’s possible.  But for me it felt like less than likely.  As a firstborn type-A child, I would often challenge their optimism, wondering if people weren’t simply taking advantage of their goodwill and kindness. Nevertheless they persisted.  It wasn’t until I experienced someone assuming the worst about me that I realized the power of believing the best.

Describing the wrapping of a package doesn’t mean you know the contents. –Lisa Bevere

Empower transformation—don’t label.

Labels limit us and keep us from seeing the beautiful possibilities of transformation, hope and love.  Romans 12:2 tells us to “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (NIV)  God’s word helps us to see people through the eyes of Jesus and we all need that kind of transformation!

Labels can be painfully accurate about someone’s past while missing their future by a mile. There is always far more to be seen than the obvious. – Lisa Bevere

Seek to understand—don’t rant.

Who doesn’t love a good rant?  But more often than not “a good rant” is pretty much one-sided—meaning it’s only good for you.  The key to remaining non-judgmental and sincerely curious is to cultivate a heart of compassion.  We might not always agree, but we can make the effort to gain clarity and appreciate another’s perspective.

You never really know a man until you understand things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it. Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

How will you choose curiosity over judgment today?

Until Next Time,


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