Curiosity is a curious thing.
It, curiosity, is an entity – a drive, a phenomenon, an instinct, a pushing pull – that provides for an essential ingredient to the human genome, to the relatively sentient organism, and its survival in this chaotic, random world. Without curiosity, we’d not have evolved in the way we did, in a way seeing us develop this enigmatic edifice of a civilisation, with all its gadgets and gizmos, toys and governmental ploys.
Without giving into our temptations to be curious, and to question not only authority, but also nature and our perception of nature itself, we’d have stagnated in our cognitive process as a species. And hell, as oxymoronic as this is, we’d never have developed the mental aptitude to consider why curiosity can sometimes lead us astray – for instance, when our naturalistic curiosity to touch, and feel and jump into resplendent objects, otherwise known as fire. Ironically, the phrase curiosity never killed the cat is indeed an expression borne out of curiosity.
It is true that curiosity alone can be very dangerous. It is equally true that intelligence without curiosity is kinda pointless. Curiosity, however, impregnated with the imaginative genius that is the human mind, is a recipe for magic. And wanna know something neat? You, yeah you, person reading this are an imaginative genius.
Why then, do we persist with these silly little phrases? Why then, is our civilised society so set on ridding curiosity from its system?
Oh, what’s that you say?
Hobble gosh! Society isn’t set on ridding curiosity from its system. That’s preposterous, paranoid, phony-propaganda. It’s crazy talk. You crazy.
Well, to that I say: Each to their own opinion. But here’s mine.
If you look at our schooling system, a system designed to pave the way for the future’s arrival, it doesn’t at all, AT ALL, encourage creative thought. And yes, I’m speaking for every single school, from every single pocket of the world, indeed.
Really though, and I know that this is general, but our education systems nurture memorisation, comprehension and application much more than they do innovation, interpretation or creative illustration. And it’s always been like this. Whacky thinkers, especially prophets and authentic contrarians, were often hung, burnt at the stake, crucified (literally), beheaded, or just plain extradited from their home lands for submitting to their curiosity, and having ideas not yet plopped into the collective’s consciousness – talk about extreme resistance, hey? And no, this sort of stuff isn’t so ancient, either. We’re talking centuries, folks, less than centuries in some cases; names like Kafka and Tolstoy and Wilde come to mind. Hell, this shit still happens today.
People whose views or behaviours are totally divergent from the norm are still ostracised, ridiculed and condemned accordingly. The only difference now is that weirdo’s can unite through the cyber web, and so the views of minorities are usually accepted by at least a few others; but aside from this point, we still, today, pick on and think ill of those with an exceedingly curious eye.
And here you say, that’s equating curiosity to divergence or contrariety, and that’s wrong.
Well, my question would be: Is it?
Because ultimately, isn’t that why the expression “curiosity killed the cat” survived so enduringly?
No, not at all! Still wrong. You’re stupid. Stupid.
Well, maybe. But if you think about it, it kind of makes sense.
Curiosity killed the relationship when Bob asked Sandra if she was ‘cheating’ on him. ‘Cause she was. They could have been living in a happy ball of ignorant bliss had Bob not pushed the matter. Isn’t that demarcating a fear of change?
Little Timmy asked his teacher what happens when two black holes collide, to which she replied, “Timmy! Don’t ask such questions, they are irrelevant and won’t help you with the test.” Leaving Jimmy feeling stupid and isolated for his rather outlandish thoughts. Slowly but surely squeezing all the curious juice right outta ‘im. Slowly but surely melting the inner contrarian outta ‘im, leaving only a sheeple behind.
We’re scared of ideas and conceptions that we’ve not yet been introduced to (neuro-scientifically tested, actually!) and so we shy away from our own inner curious-weirdo, and that of others so to avoid these alien thoughts and feelings from burgeoning. Like it or not, society – as an abstracted, intangible entity that permeates through our invisible spheres – doesn’t like encouraging thinking outside the box; and, when it does so, the box is confined to means through which a specific purpose or desire can be met and fulfilled.
Well, I for one say, fuck the box, I’m a think outside the circle. Or, fuck geometric shapes all together; I’m a think outside the crocodile’s jaw line.
For the kids reading this, and equally so for the adults with still the flame that is their inner child burning inside, it’s all lies. Curiosity never killed the cat. Father Christmas isn’t real and neither is that expression (aside, of course, from its reality as an expression).
Sorry to break it to you (no I’m not), but sometimes the truth hurts (just like curiosity sometimes can, but it’s worth it in the end, I promise. No I don’t).
Humans-are-curious-creatures. And so they should be.