Eleanor Roosevelt opined, “I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.” In fact, this sense of curiosity does seem innate to most children. Parents famously decry or relish in retelling their progeny’s stories thirsting for answers. Why is my cousin a vegetarian? I know you’re not a genie, but if you were, what wish would you grant? What did Native Americans sleep on?
I think of curiosity as a child’s gift that many adults somehow lose. So many of us feel strapped for time, and I blame this loss on an over-reliance of short-cuts. Now, these time-savers, physical and mental, are marvelously helpful. I’m glad that I don’t have to check a GPS or other map every day on my way home from work. But what a delight when I take the time to turn down an alternate route. I have discovered incredible coffee shops, unusual architecture, and stunning views of the skyline. I find inherent satisfaction in this exploration. However, this searching also holds a certain utility. When I come upon unexpected roadblocks, perhaps simply traffic or construction, I might just have a hidden reservoir of alternate routes.
We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. – Walt Disney
Take my literal example of a short-cut, coupled with the delight of uncovering hidden surprises when we stray away from that routine. We fall into comfortable mental habits. We would suffocate without them. And yet, from time to time, I choose to stray. Find the time.
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