“True, curiosity killed the cat. But if the cat would not have given into its curiosity, it would have lived every day of its life with the wanton desire to live out that curiosity. Surely, death is better than unfulfilled curiosity.” (Julius Antross)
Do you think curiosity is a sign of intelligence — or is it just asking for trouble? When did your curiosity lead you to find out something you didn’t want to know?
Curiosity. A profound yet sadly often uncultivated quality of a person. I am not entirely sure if curiosity is a sign of intelligence, but it surely is an important factor of smartness. In fact, it could be argued that curiosity is a prerequisite to intelligence.
That being said, curiosity can be dangerous also. This is particularly true in the case of adolescence or immaturity. I mean, how often that we heard some otherwise decent kids got overdosed by illicit drugs just out of curiosity ? My own experience also tells me this. During my turbulent years of growing up, I indulged in practices that can be classified as unconventional at best and promiscuous at worst. And while I am not in a confessional mood right now, I can safely state that yes, curiosity was an important factor in my mind when I made that decision to engage in those wild drugs and sex. Other factors certainly came into that lethal mental decision-making process, one of the most important is the desire to be rebellious, to embody the word “rebel” itself, with or without a cause. But I digress.
Is it a bad thing then ? I would not go that far. My own personal stand is that curiosity can be dangerous, but could not be avoided if a person wants to experience life to the fullest and derive the ultimate lesson from it. A necessary evil, so to speak. Being a parent at this point in my life, I now realized the other side of the coin. Curiosity needs to be developed hand in hand with responsibility, and the obligation to carefully nurture that falls into the hand of the parents. There is just no escape from that, thus the old adagium “Parents are the most important job in the world”, and Gibran‘s conclusion that you hold only a stewardship of your child ( and therefore, are responsible for his / her fate by ways of education ).
But what about the proverbial cat itself ? I remember the days of my early childhood. Those days that I spent roaming in my grandma’s roof or larder. Or that particular carefree, but tearful day when I learnt that the bite of Giant Fire Ants hurt so much that I doubted if even circumcision could hurt more than that. I learnt a lot then. Some are deep moral lessons like you could be hit by a sudden missile of rocks from a neighbor when you steal her fruits. Others are not so important like dogs certainly don’t feel comfortable in height ( they will even bite if you use only one hand holding them, your other hand being busy helping your body climb ). Should that cat be killed ? I don’t think so. Because only through healthy curiosity that a cat can learn that there are things it could live on other than milk and some fancy cat foods. Survival…..I wonder where did we learn it.