Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Have We Forgotten How to be Curious?

Curiosity killed the cat.” At least that's what I was told when I was a kid. I was very curious, but I also took things literally, and I wondered for the life of me what the adults meant when they told me that. After all, curiosity wasn't a weapon. How could it kill anybody? Now that I'm grown I understand what they meant, but is it really true? I mean, I guess curiosity could lead you into danger if you aren't careful, but aren't we supposed to be curious?

How can we learn anything if we just take in whatever is told us, never questioning but always submitting to those who are supposed to know best. Of course, as a child there are some things we need to accept, because our parents are responsible for taking care of us, making sure we are safe, etc. Even then I think it is okay for a child to ask questions. Young children can often understand much more than we realize. There is a difference between asking questions and being rebellious.

What if we show more patience when our children ask a lot of questions?

Would it be that hard to stop what we are doing for a minute, get down on their level and show them we are interested in hearing them? We may not have time to give them a complete answer right then, but at least they will know we care. Sometimes they just want to be acknowledged and then we can take more time later to try to answer whatever it was they wanted to know.

Children are important to Jesus.

 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. (Mark 10:13-16 NIV Bible Gateway)

I had seven children so I know what it's like to be bombarded with questions, sometimes many at once. I'm sure I did not stop what I was doing every single time and give them the attention they needed. I know sometimes I would be irritated at being interrupted and would not speak very kindly. For the most part, though, my husband and I encouraged our children to ask questions, to be curious, and also to learn how to find out answers for themselves.

How many children grow up having their curiosity squelched by adults or older kids who didn't want to be bothered? 

How many adults have forgotten how to be curious? 

I believe every child is born with a sense of wonder. Everything seems to hold a mystery. Why do trees lose their leaves? What makes the snow fall? How high is the moon? Can I touch it? What makes those tracks in the snow? Why is the sky blue?

 Curiosity is a great characteristic for each of us to have.

What if we approached each day with anticipation the way a child does? Would we be able to see things a little differently? Would we learn to marvel at even small things and be grateful for the things we often take for granted?

Maybe if we did we would lose some of the tension and anxiety that seems to go along with being an adult. There is more to life than meeting deadlines and constantly working. I know that when I take time to notice what is around me and be thankful rather than thinking of all the things that are wrong, I can feel a little of the tension falling away. 

Imagine if I made this a normal every day practice…

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