Do You Feel Lucky?
April 13, 2023
The Invisible
April 27, 2023


Photo by Ivan Obolensky

When I was growing up, I often heard the saying: “Curiosity killed the cat. Satisfaction brought it back” *. Frankly, I found the satisfaction part rather baffling, but the “killed cat” stuck with me. I would often wonder how the cat could have avoided being killed, while still being curious. In the end, I concluded that it didn’t matter. Cats have nine lives anyway.

Such youthful logic may be specious, but the killed cat did spark a lifelong curiosity about curiosity.

I noted that not all who are curious are geniuses, but certainly all geniuses are curious. That led me to wonder if curiosity is innate, or if it’s a skill we can develop?

My conclusion is that all of us are born curious, only we fail to nurture it. Instead, we learn that curiosity and trouble go together. Dig too deep, ask too many questions, turn over one too many rocks, and we find ourselves at odds with those around us. Rejected, discouraged, or even punished, we learn to suppress our desires to find things out. We learn to look the other way.

Sad as that is, there is some good news. As we age, we reach a point where we couldn’t care less about what others think, and lo and behold, our curiosity blossoms. We experience a second childhood as we allow our curiosity to roam about unchecked, and that is freedom of a high order.

Having a bad day? Go on. Grow young. Be curious.

*The words are by Ben Jonson from his play, Every Man in His Humour, written in 1598.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *