They say “curiosity killed the cat”…it may be true but it’s left a bit of a negative vibe to the whole being curious thing!
There’s something beautifully childlike about curiosity…the endless “Why? Why? Why? Why?” from just about every 3 year old leaves most parents at some point snapping “just because…” or resorting to “why do you think?” which leaves the said three year old pondering “erm”….
Children are curious, they’re inquisitive, it’s how they learn. Their genuine interest in everything around them enables them to soak up information as they attempt to make sense of their world!
As adults we often lose this skill or maybe we just lose the desire? Maybe we see curiosity or questions as a sign of weakness? Maybe we don’t want to be seen to have a lack of knowledge! The Jewish tradition is intriguing when it comes to questions. Britain’s former Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks writes:
Judaism is the rarest of phenomena: a faith based on asking questions, sometimes deep and difficult ones that seem to shake the very foundations of faith itself.
Throughout the Torah the founding fathers of the Jewish faith question God as they wrestle with why Yahweh would choose to act the way it seems He has! It’s important to note that Jesus was a Jew! So embedded in all his conversation were questions and stories that induced more curiosity and intrigue than answers! Could it be that, instead of being a sign of weakness or lack of knowledge, questions and curiosity are in fact an art form? And that sometimes questions tell us more than answers ever do?
Why is this interesting? Well…who do you think are the most dangerous people in our world? Politicians? World Leaders? Religious fundamentalists? Those who believe their way is the only way? Those who carry an arrogant certainty about how it should be? Are they the people who do the most damage? Are they people who’ve stopped asking questions, who have stopped listening to others and instead are convinced that they know best?
So what if we were people who asked more questions? What if we were more interested in hearing other people’s stories than sharing our own? What if showing a genuine interest in what others think and why they think it led to a better understanding of the differences between us? What would that look like? I wonder if it’s possible to change the world by embracing inquisitiveness? Who knows!? Not me…I’m just curious!