Whenever you encounter something for the first time — whether it be a problem or a question, a situation or a task, a person or a text — you can understand it most fully when you approach it as an opportunity for inquiry. Every new encounter, by definition, brings you into contact with something unfamiliar. This means that every new encounter is also an invitation to consider what you’re being shown, what it has to tell or teach you, and how this may alter what you already think you know. An inquisitive encounter involves more than being aware of what you see; it involves being open to how it engages and affects you. This disposition, or habit of mind, sets the stage for all the critical thinking to come.