Eileen’s Outlook: Be Curious, Not Judgemental

I was reminded recently of a quote often misattributed to Walt Whitman, a turn of the 19th Century poet, widely considered to be one of America’s best: “Be curious, not judgemental.” While it turns out that the origins of this quote are murky at best, I love the idea of asking, rather than assuming 

For me, curiosity is the first step in transformation – it is where we start to change our circumstances, effect change in our communities and workplaces, and change our overall outlook on life itself. When we are curious, we ask ‘why’, we ask ‘how’, ‘how come’, ‘why are things the way they are right now’, ‘why are they not a different way?’. The very act of asking leads us to the realisation that things do not have to be as they are – and this itself brings us to the precipice of change. 

At The LLC Academy, a 73.57% Black Owned Level 2 Designated Group Supplier that focuses on the growth and development of those already employed, as well as the upliftment of young unemployed members of our society, my colleagues and I like to ask “what”. What can we do to help those who have been previously disadvantaged? What kind of knowledge does a person need to become the best possible leader, teacher, mentor, parent, person they can be?  

When we ask, rather than assume, we are likely to get more useful answers. In South Africa, we assume that what South Africans need is purely more money – more social grants, more ways to help those who cannot help themselves. What we at The LLC Academy have found time and again, is that people also have a strong desire to equip themselves with the knowledge and skills necessary to change their lives – and the lives of those around them.  

This desire to change the lives of those around them for the better is what I particularly enjoy. People are not merely out to benefit themselves and improve their own circumstances. We often hear from former students who are delighted to tell us what they have done with the expertise they have gained through our programmes – things like starting early childhood development centres, teaching the youth of South Africa, and giving back to their communities. 

Transformation begins when we get curious. Change can only happen when we recognise that things can, in fact, be different – and start asking how we can make things different. And when we start to make those changes, they have an ongoing, cascading effect – one that can have a transformational effect on all around us. 

If you are curious about how The LLC Academy’s programmes and courses can benefit you and your business, speak to us today – we are glad to help you become a part of changing South Africa for the better! 

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