Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.
When we grow up, we give up a lot of our curiosity, our willingness to learn. Society plays a big part in this, as it’s frowned upon to view things in what is seen as childlike wonder.
No matter how small it may seem, when we give up our curiosity, we close ourselves off to learning something new.
As a child, I often acted out what I thought would be my future role as teacher. I even had a little blackboard. It was set up like an easel, with a blackboard on one side and magnetic board on the other.
My stuffed animals would sit at my little plastic table in the small plastic chairs, patiently awaiting their lessons. They were perfect students, I was the eager educator. I planned my lessons in a spiral notebook.
Occasionally, I could rope my younger brother into my school, but not often.
He didn’t care for the homework I assigned.
“You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. but mostly they’re darked.
But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t curious. As I’ve grown older, it seems my curiosity has done nothing but grow stronger. This likely goes hand in hand with my perpetual feeling of being seventeen trapped in whatever aged body I’m in at the moment.
The fact that we don’t know most things never changes for anyone, only our attitude towards admitting it. No matter how long you live, you’ll only be able to grasp a mere fraction of the knowledge available in the world. If you can look at this as cause to rejoice, you’ve learned humility.
There’s nothing wrong with admitting that you don’t know something. It gives you the opportunity to learn something new and grow.
It doesn’t make you dumb or ignorant.
The person who thinks they know everything, can’t learn anything new and is therefore stunted in their growth.
Being around a toddler definitely helps keep my curiosity alive. My two year old has a never ending supply of it. He questions everything. Sure, there are days that makes me question my sanity, but it’s still an endearing quality.
His questions often remind me of one of my favorite shows, The United States of Tara. Tara has DID (dissociative identity disorder). One of her identities, Chicken, is around five years old. In one of my favorite scenes, everything around her is falling apart, but she’s currently Chicken, so the adults are trying to talk around her, so as not to scare her. She’s happily coloring a picture and randomly asks, “Why is the sky?”
“Why is the sky what, Chicken?”
“I dunno. Just why is the sky?”
It’s heartbreakingly endearing.
It begs the question, why?
Seriously, just why in general. Which will get you nowhere and everywhere at the same time. That simple, one word question can jump start your curiosity faster than anything.
When we remain curious, we open ourselves and relationship up to new possibilities. We are more satisfied as humans. Our brains are meant to question.