Word of the Month: Curiosity

Simply put, when we’re curious, we want to learn something. We realize that we don’t know everything about the topic at hand. Small children are naturally curious—they realize that they have a lot to learn. Sometimes as adults, we may be reluctant to reveal our curiosity, because we would also be revealing that there is some particular knowledge that we lack.

Curiosity is at times viewed as dangerous. Certainly we can get in over our heads in some situations if we don’t balance curiosity with a degree of caution. And while we can have a healthy and compassionate curiosity about the lives of friends, relatives and neighbors, there can be a fine line between that type of curiosity and intrusive nosiness.

That said, curiosity is essential to human life. It spurs exploration, research, invention, travel, trying new things and much more. Albert Einstein was quite an advocate of curiosity. He observed, “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”

See more features from the March 2015 issue