I often marvel at how kids ask one question after the other, curious to know more about everything. While there may not be answers for every question, most people understand that the sparkle in the eyes of kids should only be encouraged. If there is one trait we need to carry over from childhood, it is curiosity.
“The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.
― Albert Einstein
Curiosity is vital at work since it drives learning, but is also the primary fuel for personal growth. Being curious about how things work, cultures, skills, technology, languages, other people's experiences, and so many other things kindles a spark within us of something different, bigger and more meaningful. Knowledge of other cultures helps obtain a global reach for our work and passion. It also helps find meeting ground, shared values and interests. Knowing more languages is a distinct advantage in benefiting from literature and knowledge in those languages, as also in travel and people contact. A genuine interest in experiences of others equips us to learn and benefit.
“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”
A lot of the progress we have seen today can be traced back to the fact that there were people who were curious to know more, at times despite opposition and cynicism.
“Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.”Curiosity is said to have killed cats, or at least one cat. The more modern version is “Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back”. The modern version is more apt for the times we are in, and our recognition for what curiosity can do for us.
― Stephen Hawking
“Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly”.
― Arnold Edinborough
That brings up the question – can curiosity be detrimental in any way? I suppose if one is obsessive and unwilling to acknowledge limitations, it could be? Curiosity needs to be backed by a good amount of patience. There are discoveries which have been made after several decades of work and by passing on the baton of knowledge to a future generation. Astronomy and space science is an example.
“Life is an adventure of passion, risk, danger, laughter, beauty, love; a burning curiosity to go with the action to see what it is all about, to go search for a pattern of meaning, to burn one's bridges because you're never going to go back anyway, and to live to the end.”
― Saul D. Alinsky
Curiosity leads to growth and greater satisfaction if the motive is to learn and possibly benefit a larger community, rather than for personal pride. What do you think?