There’s no more permanent or certain characteristic of a vigorous mind than an unquenchable curiosity. I’m thankful that my grandparents never quelled my need to explore and seek out answers for many, many things.
Children are born with incredible inquisitiveness—-touching, smelling, and staring for long periods of time as they try to figure things out. Who hasn’t had a child or been around one who continually asks “Why?” When it’s answered, another why replaces it. The adult inevitably becomes exhausted and finally exclaims, “Because I said so”…which only creates another why. Kids are like the Energizer Bunny in all its glory—they’re a miniature FedEx. Nothing stops them!
Along the way, the desire to know may be dampened by overbearing parents or a life that has taken its toll on your spirit, but curiosity can be recaptured or enhanced by doing a variety of things. It really is about engaging and exploring.
Try a few of my suggestions: Some ideas are simply being present wherever you are, and some require a bit of effort. You choose where you’d like to begin.
*Whenever you’re in a place where you have to wait, engage others in conversation. Find out where they’re from and what they do. I love talking to people because I find out a lot about how folks live, what types of things they do, and what part of the world they’re from.
* When you take a walk, notice what’s around you—the foliage, the animals, the houses. Don’t just look, examine deeply. I love to pick up a leaf and study its construction. Take nothing for granted.
*Be available to others’ inquisitiveness, whether it’s coming from your children, grandchildren, mate or co-worker. Don’t stifle someone’s curiosity because you’ve lost yours.
Albert Einstein said it best. “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. 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 every day. Never lose a holy curiosity”.
Loretta LaRoche writes the Get a Life column for the Patriot Ledger.