It Enhances Your Living

 To me, curiosity is another name for positive uncertainty.

The well-known idiom, “curiosity killed the cat”, is meant to be a warning that too much interest in something can be dangerous. This blog suggests that not enough interest, curiosity, inquisitiveness can be dangerous. Curious people ask questions, inquire about things, seek solutions; they are open-minded. They are alive: having a life, living, with interest or vitality(Dictionary). Antonyms include apathy, indifferent, unconcerned, uninterested. To have apathy is to have lack of interest or concern. This is like being closed-minded: unreceptive to new ideas. Curiosity is like positive uncertainty because it keeps you open-minded, asking questions and receptive to new ideas.

Recent research* shows some benefits of curiosity. It enhances intelligence; it increases perseverance or grit. And it propels us toward deeper engagement, super performance, and more meaningful goals. The word curious means to want to know things you don’t know; to investigate. So to be curious is not a bad thing. Adults and teachers often praise children with curious minds for asking questions — sometimes a lot of questions!

To me, asking questions is the key. It is also the key virtue of uncertainty. To be curious is to seek knowledge, not to own it. Knowing can be the antitheist of learning. George Land and Beth Jarman. Curious people can be very interesting. They want to know more about the world around them. Another way of saying curious is inquisitive. The verb “inquire” means to ask one or more questions.

Questions come from open-mindedness. Curiosity enhances your living by making you more aware of your surroundings and what is going on. With a lack of curiosity you miss part of your potential life. Inquiry keeps you alive and learning. You don’t grow, clinging to the status quo.  Children ask questions; adults give answers. Which is the best way to learn? Maybe being childlike should be an objective of adults.

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.   Albert Einstein

*Harvard Business Review, Sept/Oct 2008. The Five Detentions Of Curiosity. Todd B. Kashdan, David J. Disabato, Fallon R. Goodman, Carl Naughton.


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  1. Marianne Fontana says:

    Seems to me some people are just born curious and others take life at face value without questioning. I wonder if those that are less curious can be taught to question and be curious.
    I agree it is a valuable characteristic. Certainly scientists, mathematicians are naturally curious people. Otherwise they would not go into a career that calls for solving problems. It doesn’t seem to just be very intelligent people that are curious either.
    We have a leader of our country that surely could use a little curiosity instead of fixation on self. He needs to be curious enough to wonder how the people of this country are doing, curious about possible solutions to ways to negotiate with other countries to find solutions to wars. Oh well, guess we don’t have to “go there”.

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