This is a guest post by Thomas Cannon. As a PFC guest-post contributor, Thomas was asked to write about his answer to a simple question: What makes you curious? The following is his response…
I can remember, in my eight-grade science class, Mr. Courie asking, “Why do we keep trying to discover things?”
Now, I was normally a shy kid.
I was the one that never really volunteered to raise their hand and answer something; but for some reason, from the second row sitting on the edge of the classroom, I decided to pipe up.
“Because we are curious.”
Mr. Courie flashed a well-its-about-time kind of grin and said, “That is exactly right.”
At the time, I thought I was just a hot-shot who had answered the riddle correctly; but looking back, I fully appreciate what he was trying to communicate to us on that day.
There is something about human nature that drives us to be curious. This drive led me to study what I did in school. Philosophy. Theology. What is real? Does God exist? Is there a moral standard? A Soul? If these things exist, how would they play in the universe?
I was the kid who had all of the Legos.
I would be the first at the building block station after lunch in kindergarten. That is not a broken VCR. That is hours of entertainment.
Taking things apart and trying to put them back together; I wanted to know how things were made, how things worked.
It was more of a drive, an annoyance, one could say, at needing to know how certain things operated. This hardwired curiosity has shaped my window to the world.
So, what exactly makes me curious?
It is hardly anything specific. It is seeing the shape of a bird’s wing. Feeling my heart beat. The texture of a diamond. The Hubble Ultra Deep Field image. The chemistry of composting. The sound of a running generator. The sight of Venus after sunset. Anything you can imagine.
How are they made? What is their purpose? Can it be harnessed?
Curiosity is a powerful thing for me, and I am fortunate that I have never lost it.
With graduations at hand, the curiosity of some readers may be hanging on by a thread. I have seen a college setting stiffen it to the point of disgust from the individual.
It is an unfortunate casualty, in many cases, when put through the trials of formal education.
Fortunately, I really am blessed that I have always had such a strong need to figure things out. My curiosity survived, and did so like a champ.
Again, for me, there is not one specific thing that makes me curious. It is a light that has no off switch, and if I could give any advice to the reader, it would be, in the words of Einstein, to “never lose holy curiosity.”
Never turn off that light.
Let you mind wander in those moments when you find yourself watching a campfire, when you encounter the latest consumer technology, when you see a humming bird hovering outside the window.
What makes these events possible? What exactly is going on in them? How do we find these things out?
As Mr. Courie asked, “Why do we keep trying to discover things?”
Curiosity. This is the purpose of curiosity.
Thomas is a self-described casual philosopher/theologian and fan of physical sciences. He loves different perspectives on the tough questions that have to do with the universe, the existence of God and the soul, and morality. He and his wife love to surf, sail, and travel everywhere they can with their two dogs.
To read more by Thomas, head on over to his new blog, Pick A Mind, and check out his posts!
*Photo Credit: Pedro Szekely (Creative Commons)