Atul Gawande: Curiosity and What Equality Really Means

As always, so moved by the words of Atul Gawande…

We are not sufficiently described by the best thing we have ever done, nor are we sufficiently described by the worst thing we have ever done. We are all of it.

Once we lose the desire to understand—to be surprised, to listen and bear witness—we lose our humanity. Among the most important capacities that you take with you today is your curiosity. You must guard it, for curiosity is the beginning of empathy. When others say that someone is evil or crazy, or even a hero or an angel, they are usually trying to shut off curiosity. Don’t let them.

We are all capable of heroic and of evil things. No one and nothing that you encounter in your life and career will be simply heroic or evil. Virtue is a capacity. It can always be lost or gained. That potential is why all of our lives are of equal worth.