Note on ‘Stamp Collecting’

*** PHILOSOPHISING ALERT. Skip this if it’s uncomfortable or boring for you. ABORT. ABORT. CLOSE WINDOW NOW***

I’m personally bored shitless by stamp collecting, *and* I value you so I’m genuinely interested to hear about how important obtaining the 1957 Christmas Edition stamp is to you

Value 2, Kicking Goalposts 2020

I’m being funny about the stamps, but there’s a very serious undertone.

Curiosity about other people is an invisible foundation of the caring and ‘empathy’ that most people desperately want, yet we’re all still learning how to act upon effectively- that is, valuing other people beyond our own naturally limited personal preferences and experiences.

Sherlock Holmes has a lot of curiosity about people. He’s also a bit of an arse who has no friends- only a side-kick- because his curiosity is intellectual, not personal. Perhaps Sherlock-ism of the personal variety is what I’m talking about.

It seems to me to be a missing link that many people remain oblivious to, yet it keeps blindly affecting their wellbeing. Scientifically, broad curiosity has been shown to correlate with multiple measures of wellbeing- physical, mental, emotional, interpersonal, financial. So, this is my personal observation conveniently supported by the formal study of human beings (if anyone’s curious, ask me and I can send you some of the studies. Just let me know your level of curiosity about this because I could pile you with a library of info as I love that shit, but you possibly don’t so much).

Curiosity and learning how to value other people is actually very fucking serious and heartfelt for me.

I’ve witnessed the damaging impacts that lacking value of others has had on people I care about. I’ve seen the impacts upon people in my wider life experience. I’ve been lucky myself to experience being valued strongly from a few key people in my own life, and I often wonder if my experience of feeling valued as myself is abnormal. From watching my own development and that of other people, I don’t believe that learning how to value other people more genuinely is a skill beyond our own control if we become aware of a need for that. What I see as a difference in the actions of valuing others (my own actions and others’) often matches predictable effects on relationships between people. So, this is less theoretical, more observable for me in how my mind processes patterns in the world.

I personally highly value curiosity about other people’s personal experience relative to themselves and their own context. Because of this, I’m increasingly preferring to surround myself by others who are voluntarily driven by similar motivations, so we can learn together and support each other better.

I think that still being in progress to becoming motivated by this value is *very* normal. It takes time to pay attention to ourselves, and most of us at some stage will believe that we’re already highly motivated by it and it’s everyone else who sucks at it (maybe they do, maybe we do too in comparison to what’s possible?). I will always be developing this- despite some pre-existing tendency- and many adults seem to live their entire lives never having learnt this, or realising it’s a thing they can learn that could make their lives better.

In recognition of that process I’m writing this to emphasise the importance this value will have in this group if our shared goal is to support each other.

Lecture 101, ‘Human Wellbeing’: Complete. No more will happen in this group* unless upon curious request 😋

*For public readers, this was published to share with members of a private FB group, so some of this won’t make sense.

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