We admire people of lifelong passion–musicians, scientists, humanitarians, athletes. Nevermind that, up close, single-minded obsessives can be both unhappy and hard to live with. What is your passion? I’ve always had a hard time answering that. My interests have bounced around over my lifetime. I’m a hard worker, but I don’t enjoy the feeling of compulsion. I like a job well done, but am nowhere near a perfectionist.

If you can’t be a hero,
be a detective.

As I write about the art and artifacts in our home, I’m trying to get into the mind of the passionate collector (e.g., Jim). But then I think: isn’t passion pursuit more of a result, something to be developed and achieved, some kind of future steady state that few noble souls attain? What drives passion?

This makes me focus on curiosity. I share no passion for many of Jim’s collectibles–but I’m curious as hell. I decided to brainstorm the virtues of curiosity. My list:

Open minds & hearts in the Khyber Pass
  • Curiosity leads to discovery, and sometimes adventure. Research is fun.
  • Curiosity opens the mind and heart. It welcomes the Other, the Stranger, the paradigm shift.
  • Curiosity makes you care about something, fueling the seeds of passion. The more you find out, the more you want to know.
  • Curiosity helps overcome fear of the unknown. Who doesn’t want to be fearless?
  • Curiosity demystifies what seems chaotic and incomprehensible (like a hurricane or a football game).
  • Curiosity allows you to name things and see them in relationship, in context. If you can greet flowers by name, a weedpatch turns into a wildflower garden.
  • Curiosity gets you up in the morning when you’re exhausted. Where is this going? What next?

Does curiosity have a downside? Ask Adam and Eve. Ask Pandora. Ask Dr. Frankenstein. If you open your mind, the results aren’t always predictable. But isn’t that half the fun?

What do you think?

2 Replies to “Curiosity”

  1. I totally agree that the unpredictability is half the fun. A frequent refrain of mine st work, both with patients and the other folks in my OR, is, “Let’s Google it” when someone brings up a topic or question we don’t know the answer to. I don’t always delve really deeply, just enough to satisfy that curiosity. Curious folks make for good Trivial Pursuit partners. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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