As children, we are all curious. Everything around us is new, fresh, unknown and intriguing. Ladybugs, the alley behind the house, and property fences promise unknown adventures on the far side. Even the world inside the house sparks curiosity, especially for the very young. What’s inside that cabinet? What happens if I try to flush the cat down the toilet? There is no end to our curiosity as children. This is what drives parents crazy and also what they love about being around children.
As we mature through our school years and beyond, we remain curious. Some kids become genuinely interested in things they are learning. They may really take to reading, math or music. Children also develop a heightened interest in their peers and developing friendships. It’s fun to have friends—other curious people with whom to explore subjects, ourselves and the world. Often, as children move into adolescence and young adulthood, they become very interested in things that are considered taboo. They may develop interest in sex, alcohol or drugs and almost always start pushing the boundaries of parental and societal rules. Curiosity takes an endless number of forms.
We usually remain curious well into adulthood. What will my life be like when I am on my own and no longer living with my parents? What will my career be like? Can I make it? Who am I and what do I really enjoy doing? What am I passionate about? We often move deeply into exploring our interests and passions, whatever they may be.
Some of us shut down or lose our curiosity as we move into our older years, though many of us remain curious throughout our lives. Often, the focus of our curiosities change. Let’s discuss our experiences around being curious:
- What subjects, people and experiences grabbed your curiosity as a young person?
- Are there factors (like depression, illness or having to focus on raising children) that have interfered with your natural curiosity for periods of time?
- Have you always been a curious person or generally not so curious?
- What form has your curiosity taken in recent years? What are your interests now? Has your curiosity diminished over your adult years?
- Curiosity is often the same as embracing a path of life-long learning. What, in your opinion, is the value of ongoing curiosity and life-long learning?