Curiosity is a Muscle (and Stereotypes are Couch Potatoes)

November 2023

While the weather wasn’t cold enough to sport my orange and blue hoodie, I nevertheless felt like an honorary Gator a few weeks ago at a talk hosted by the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. The event featured Mónica Guzmán, whose many roles include being a senior fellow for public practice at Braver Angels. As a fan both of that cross-partisan grassroots organization and of podcasts, I was familiar with Mónica’s work via a conversation she’d had last year with Glenn Beck — an episode I’d shared with my AirBnB host in Georgia after we had a candid and curious chat, both knowing we’d not voted the same way in the last several elections.

That afternoon in Gainesville, an ideologically diverse group gathered to hear Mónica’s thoughts on constructive discourse across political and ideological lines in an era marked by growing skepticism of the integrity of media and the proliferation of disinformation. As a former member of the media, she noted that a journalist’s job is to be “a mirror to society” by sharing stories that reflect our reality.

Recently, that mirror seems to have shattered, and most of us are seeing only reflections in small shards; we don’t hear the larger narrative, and our stereotypes are keeping us from really seeing each other.

That’s putting it kindly...

Read the rest of this story, including 8 ways to exercise your curiosity muscle, on Medium.  

(Photo credit: Lars Blankers on Unsplash)


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