Curiosity Might Have Killed The Cat, But It Might Saved Somebody Else!

Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers. ~Voltaire

Levels of allowable curiosity are dictated to us throughout our lives, and ultimately we become the dictators to curiosity seekers. As infants we are encouraged to explore our worlds. By the time we are toddlers, we are somewhat restrained. As teenagers we are forbidden. As adults, we are selective and set limitations.

I remember as a child being told to stop doing certain things because I might possibly get hurt or break something. I was instructed not to ask certain questions because it wasn’t acceptable or that people might think me odd. I remember feeling embarrassed and also stifled. Then, I turned around and did the very same things to my own children. I can not begin to tell you the stunts my kids pulled or the experiments they conducted all in the name of science. Often, I was game as long as I knew what it involved, no destruction to property, and no injury to them. However, if I walked in on one I wasn’t told about, it was usually trouble. I think they may have gotten shocked a time or two or had some foul mixture smoking in the house. We had telephones and computers taken apart and put back together. Most of the time quite successfully with only a screw or two left over! Then of course, there were many broken objects. I remember once my youngest breaking an umbrella as he was attempting to “parasail” down the street on his skateboard. Then there was the time Oldest pulled Youngest in the snow on a skateboard with his bike…that one made the local news with the reporter trying it and busting his rear!

What is it that shifts in our brains to cause this change, this lack of wonderment? Is it a time-released air of responsibility? Is it how we were raised? Is it the fear of the opinions of those around us? Why do we stop questioning? Why do we automatically accept the theories of others? Why do we assume they know more than we are capable of learning?

Curiosity is the root of the most wonderful and universal discoveries. Curiosity is the inventor of many great things. Curiosity has found cures for diseases. Curiosity is a cure for boredom. Curiosity goes where the level headed party pooper dares not to dive.

I suppose without some sort of restrictions, curiosity can be dangerous. Certain situations must be explored with proper precautions as there can be consequences such as chemical reactions or physical harm.

When does curiosity become nosiness? I think it is when the object of our curiosity turns from ideas to people. When we are more entertained by learning about our neighbors than learning how to do something new, we’ve traded in curiosity for nosiness. I think when we are more interested in the personal lives of celebrities than the wonders of the universe, we have crossed that line.

May the great minds of scientists, researchers, and others never stop wondering. May they continue to ask questions and seek answers. As long as we remain inquisitive, we are open to growth. May we each live with a healthy dose of curiosity inside. May we never stop reaching and learning.

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. ~Albert Einstein

Sunday Scribblings prompt is “Curious”.

37 thoughts on “Curiosity Might Have Killed The Cat, But It Might Saved Somebody Else!

    • Yes, I think indestructible is part of the male ego! Youngest busted his head open (and other wounds) last night skateboarding. Four staples in his head, but I’ll bet he’ll be back on the board as soon as he stops hurting and can move again!

  1. I love this post! I’m a very curious person, though I have reigned myself in a bit too much. I think there’s something about being a parent that scared me in to being a bit too cautious. I really need to get over that!

  2. Absolutely a faaaaaaaabulous post, Suzi!

    “Curiosity is the root of the most wonderful and universal discoveries. Curiosity is the inventor of many great things. Curiosity has found cures for diseases. Curiosity is a cure for boredom. Curiosity goes where the level headed party pooper dares not to dive.”

    You said it, girl!

    This is why I will always hang on to the “child within me”; the part of me that has no reservation about learning, growing, wonderment, and yes, curiousity!

    Happy Wednesday, dear lady!


  3. I am naturally a curious person. I think as we get older it is not that we lose that curiosity it is simply that life takes over – too little time, too much to do, to go seeking the next new thing, discovering. But I do still like to do new things, learn something new and I always question and never just accept.

    I hope my daughter turns out that way too. I think it is good to be cautious, but curiosity is a great gift.

  4. I think curiosity serves us well most of the time. We do fear for our children’s safety, but we want them curious, don’t we? Knowing the right questions to ask is so important to finding solutions. Lovely post! Very thought provoking. Thanks Suzi!

  5. Amen, You said a mouthful here lady and I agree with you, Curiosity we need to grow and learn but nosiness is one we can do without, learning the difference is a lesson for all.

    Excellent Post 🙂

    • I think we have the media to blame for the nosy obsession with celebrity life…look at all of the reality shows. People live for other’s reality rather than getting out in the world and creating their own!

  6. It all starts when we are told to color in the lines and use brushes to paint- and to paint real things like flowers instead of abstract works of art. I see it every day when I work in the classroom. I never tell a kids it’s rude to ask my age. I let them know- how else will the know what 39 looks like? I tell them my first name too, but they know I expect them to call me Ms. O. I ask them their ancestry, I talk to them about their holidays- I want to know about them, not just in the limitations set by polite society (name, rank, serial number).
    This is one reason I love the art form I just discovered- zentangle- there are no real rules, It is creative and freeing!

  7. I am always curious, and I drive people crazy with questions, but my mind works differently. I have to see it, hear it, and make a 3D version in my head to really understand.

    I guess it is the curse of creativity. I like to think it keeps us young and smart.

    This is a very nice post with a lot to wonder (and be curious – heh) about. When do we stop grabbing life by the tail? I guess it’s when we get bit too many times. But staying mindful and active helps.


  8. I love this post! And I think you’re so right. When we stop questioning, we become drones. We start to close down. Not only losing our own creativity, but as you say – the ability to appreciate the world around us, with “wonder.”

    I’m all for encouraging kids to ask questions. Lots of them. Adults, too!

  9. I once heard that, “Curiosity killed the cat…but satisfaction brought him back.”

    Without curiosity, we would never discover anything new. We were made to create, and nothing can be created without some level of curiosity driving it.

  10. I had to fight against shutting down my kids sometimes from those things. A lot of it for me was that I didn’t want to clean up the mess or worry about something breaking. Silly, when you sit back and look at the big picture now!

  11. i think curiosty has it’s place and caution also.
    A balance is the right option.
    For example, i would never bungee jump of a cliff.
    But would sit close to the edge to paint the view.
    i guess with the latter, you are in control

  12. I learn so much about curiosity through my four year old. They approach everything with abandon. I am somewhat cautious when I approach new situations, but my daughter reminds me to embrace instead of fear. Good post Suzicate.

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