April 03, 2007

What Kills Curiosity

Last time I was on a flight, a child sitting in front of me kept asking his mother questions about how the plane worked. What are those things? The wings. What do they do? etc. And his mother was much more patient than I would have been, being very kind and trying to oblige his questions as much his possible. In fact, I learned some interesting things about aviation from that boy's mother, who knows if she was making it up or not. But, eventually, she grew tired of humoring his queries, and eventually said, "Don't worry honey. Nothing bad will happen to you."

What happens to the curiosity of children? Many of us have stopped asking questions, even to things it's essential we have answers to. Is it because we grew tired of not getting real answers? Or do we simply answer questions to make us feel better like our mothers often resorted to.

What happens when I die?

"Don't worry honey. Nothing bad will happen to you."


Arcane Rest said...

as we get older we seem to acknowledge that asking questions means not knowing something...not knowing something is equated with not being smart.

however, it is the people that ask the questions that have a better understanding of the things around them.

i think now we are curious about what interests us, not just random stuff like how a fax machine works (great example, right?)

Eric Olsen said...

the fear that "not knowing something = not being smart", very interesting theory. i think you might be on to something there.

Eric Olsen said...

yeah, like, when i enter into a discussion with somebody, i often find that the other person is more looking to win the debate than to come to a better conclusion than where they currently are. this is not helpful.

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