If you've ever intentionally walked onto thin ice, I can guarantee you weren't struggling with complacency in that moment.
When you were young you were always exploring. The world was full of wonder. To explore is to be curious. To search is to discover. This takes initiative and it takes walking onto thin ice. Thin, not in the sense of risk, thin in the sense that you are walking on shaky new ground while wondering what others think and whether you will make it.
How do we slide from insatiable curiosity to sad complacency?
Complacency is reached one easy decision at a time. It is the avoidance of the thin ice. It is the walking away from the challenge. It is the fear that becomes bigger than the opportunity.
Could it also be the parent who becomes impatient and shuts down an inquisitive child? Maybe it is the school system that teaches to the test and misses the wonder of learning? Or the workplace that rewards for following a routine instead of rewarding creative process improvements?
True, we do not want 40-year-olds for whom everything is new. But between those extremes of childhood and adulthood there is a balance of knowing and discovering that can expand knowledge and bring fresh insight alive.
What can release people from complacency?
• The teacher who encourages the student to dream. • The preacher who sees the expansive vision of God that we may flourish in His creation. • The business person who creates a workplace full of potential, calling employees to that potential. • The parent at home with their child opening new worlds for discovery.
A healthy respect for thin ice should never go away. It is always there for the explorer as they push out to the edges. One never gets used to it, and hopefully never will. It is the part of exploration that keeps you focused, keeps you wise and helps you know that failure may be another way for learning.
My hope is that as an explorer I can help organizations, individuals and our family discover all they can be. In that pursuit curiosity can thrive and complacency be kept at bay.