By: Lara Janosz //
Questions shape our world.
Or what we know of it, at least. The asking and answering of questions has allowed us to achieve wonderful innovations and create new perspectives through which we can understand what it means to be human.
Human curiosity that illuminates the path to discovery. Without it, our world would not be the same.
Unfortunately, as we get older, our curiosity tends to diminish compared to when we were young. That childlike need to discover and explore our surroundings is replaced by the stresses of everyday life. There is a shift in focus that causes us to forget what it means to uncover new things and inquire about concepts that we are passionate about. We start to believe everything that comes from any seemingly authoritative source because we don’t have the time to explore for ourselves. In a fracturing society and an increasingly partisan political climate, this blind acceptance of information is incredibly dangerous. We are letting other people tell us what we know, even when that information is not completely true.
Even as a student, I find myself limiting my curiosity to what I’m told I’m “allowed” to be curious about in my research papers and projects. My curiosity tended not to extend beyond those limitations. I realized that there is so much more to learning and discovery than what we are told to be curious about. If we can learn to exercise our innate curiosity, we will ultimately become more knowledgeable people. We can have more productive conversations, which can lead to solving more issues, which can lead to bringing the divided back together.
“Question everything.” It is a quote we’ve all heard before and maybe even disregarded at times, but it couldn’t be truer. The power that we hold when we let ourselves discover and explore is unmatched. Curiosity alone has led to some of the greatest discoveries known to humankind and has even brought peace to our world in times of crisis. If we let other people tell us what we know, we are doing a disservice to ourselves and the current society we live in. When we choose to blindly accept whatever bogus policy or false statement that comes our way, we are essentially telling others that we cannot think for ourselves; that we don’t care to know whether or not what we are being told is true. With so much out there left to uncover, this is no way to live.
I remember watching my youngest sister grow up. Her eyes, always bright, constantly taking in her surroundings, touching, seeing, hearing, and feeling the world around her. This is the curiosity that we must try to reignite in ourselves. We cannot be afraid to explore our passions and question certain authority, even if it makes us uncomfortable. It is an exciting feeling to learn something new, especially if that something has meaning.
Questions shape our world. What would happen if we stopped asking them?