I am looking at Pepa, the cat I live with now. Pepa doesn’t stop playing. Her behaviour seems crazy sometimes. But it does so less when you remember that her behaviour is driven by the high curiosity she always has. Pepa leaves nothing in the room unchecked. As she does, she reminds me why I love cats. But let me elaborate.
We as humans are also curious by nature. But as we grow our curiosity decreases. They tell us that sometimes we have to listen to our inner kid, and what that mainly means is that we have to keep our natural tendency to be curious alive. As human beings the best gift nature gave us (God, if you want) is our capacity to be curious along with our capacity to understand and learn. But curiosity and intelligence are sides of the same coin. One without the other makes no sense. As those with high intelligence but with no desire to learn are wasting their capacity, curiosity without intelligence can even be disastrous. So the saying goes “curiosity killed the cat” (Pepa is fine for those of you worrying about it). But that curiosity is precisely why I love cats so much (despite my allergies to them, ironic!). You will find with difficulty an animal as curious as a cat (and most likely that is what made them divine figures in ancient civilizations like the Egyptian. Egyptians were very curious themselves and so very successful). Unfortunately for Pepa, cats beat us in curiosity but not in our capacity to understand and learn. But we, as human beings, enjoy curiosity and intelligence. Curiosity along with intelligence makes the most powerful force and is the essence of what we are.
Curiosity is probably the main force behind knowledge, innovation and technological change. There would be no science without curiosity.
All main brains in the history of humanity have been characterised by being highly curious. Curiosity makes us want to know more, pay attention to things, dig for answers, pose new questions. Curiosity make us realize the wonders in small details, try to understand the functioning behind everything that surrounds us. Curiosity led our ancestors to travel out of Africa and around the whole globe, discover new places, experiment with new things, and develop new ideas. Curiosity ultimately led us into space. Curiosity is natural to us as human beings, but it can be fostered or discouraged. More curious kids learn more and are not just more successful but also happier in life. In fact, we begin leaving this world when our curiosity vanishes. When we no longer have desire to learn new things, meet new people and understand more, our brain starts drying and we can be sure that with it our life starts coming to an end.
Furthermore, as Spiderman would say, “with great powers come great responsibilities”! But don’t wait to have spider powers! Our great powers reside in our curiosity and intelligence. Our responsibility is to make the best use of them. Foster curiosity and you will understand more, you will be disappointed less often, you will accept those around you. You will welcome new cultures, new peoples, new places, new ideas. Foster curiosity and you will be less afraid of what you don’t understand, of other cultures, of other ways of seeing and doing things. Foster curiosity and you will understand more about your own life and yourself.
But most importantly, foster curiosity and you will live a more satisfying life…and enjoy watching cats play!