One thing I've learned in this business is that no matter how much you think you know someone, you always have something new to learn if you just ask the right questions.
At a recent interview, a daughter was sitting next to her mom, quietly on call in case she was needed for help with technology, dates, or names. Her mother was sharing stories from childhood, fondly remembering friends on the same block, riding bikes and games of kick-the can, but also how a neighborhood bully targeted her from an early age. Even though the experience was many decades old, the impact was still fresh. Her daughter sprang to attention and though she was off-camera, I heard her say, 'I never heard about that, Mom. I'm sorry that happened to you.'
It was such a short but beautiful exchange between mother and daughter--it almost took the wind right out of me. The reversal of roles, the vulnerability it may have taken to share that memory, and the compassion shown by her daughter listening.
I keep thinking about this moment and how we all have deep wells of stories and experiences that often remain untapped. We assume we know all there is to know about someone when really we just haven't asked the right questions. Imagine a world if we all stopped assuming intent and knowledge and instead, embraced curiosity and wonder. The world would be a more compassionate place.
What questions can we ask to deepen our connections with the people we know and love?
What would a bit of curiosity do to our connections with strangers?