Curiosity, I think, is simply a thirst for knowledge. And it’s a thirst absent any requisite redeeming practicality. It’s the same thirst a sot has for liquor; it just satisfies a need buried so deeply in the brain that it’s next to impossible to expose it to reason and to the light of day; it’s just there. Like an alcoholic’s lust for booze, the inquisitor’s longing for understanding is incurable. Yet, like alcoholism, the passion can be curbed. Fed a steady diet of ugliness and painful explanations in response to expressions of curiosity, the person who probes for understanding can be trained to recoil from new information.

I wonder whether the natural curiosity of children is effectively beat out of them with emotional cudgels? And, if that’s the case, how can that ‘treatment’ be reversed? How can people who don’t want to know any more than they already do be made inquisitive again? I’ve wondered this before; I now wonder why this issue of children having their innate curiosity yanked out of their heads keeps coming up in my thinking?

Somewhere, there are answers to those questions. Even in the questions, themselves, there are answers. How can we make the questions just as appealing as the answers?

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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