Healthy Curiosity

Curiosity is the desire to know about things. Being inquisitive is sometimes thought of as being nosey but it is great to have a healthy interest in what is going on around you.

It is generally curiosity that makes people want to become an expert in a field of knowledge. Consider developments in medical science. Researchers have spent many years searching for a cure for cancer and although this has not yet been discovered new techniques are being tested all the time. There is clearly a need to alleviate suffering and to prolong the life of patients. Laboratory technicians devote their time to indentifying the cellular mechanisms of cancer to unravel the mystery of why some cells behave abnormally and become cancerous. It is by no means certain that researchers and people who carry out clinical trials will ever find a cure or eliminate cancer completely but each revelation or new discovery brings with it further information about the causes and possible methods of treatment. These people are driven by the quest for knowledge and the possibility that they might be a contributor to the development of a cure for cancer. Even if they don’t achieve that their work will still be worthwhile.

Some of us do not have such lofty aims but we would still like to learn more about things we are interested in. I feel sorry for people who leave school and say “well that was the end of that” and never open a book or question an opinion again. To kill someone’s curiosity is a terrible shame. Children are instinctively curious and they often ask questions that embarrass their parents in front of others.

Albert Einstein said “It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education” and I tend to agree. Many teachers faced with a class of 30 children just want to get through the lesson and teach the curriculum – you cannot really blame them for that. But on the other hand to question what other people take for granted can yield wonderful results. Curiosity might lead you to go to evening classes, to learn a language or study more about history or culture.

Adults on the other hand may not want to ask questions incase it makes them look foolish. Some people are driven by curiosity and they will not rest until they find answers. This makes them stand out from the crowd because others take the attitude “anything for a quiet life”. To have a healthy curiosity and an enquiring mind are gifts to be appreciated. I encourage people to question things even if it means stepping on a few toes.

Follow your curiosity – what you discover might benefit yourself and (wo)mankind!

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