The power of curiosity

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Curiosity … Do we harness our curiosity for something constructive or is it just idle curiosity?

 

As I was waiting with eagerness for my flight at the gate in Hyderabad airport, I saw a very cute toddler with his mother.  He was curly haired and looked like a bundle of sponge.

He was throwing tantrums with his mother, yet she was patient but helpless.  Ultimately, she gave in by opening her mobile and offering it to the child.

He grabbed it and swiftly opened YouTube to find some videos on it.I was curious to know what it was that he was so fond of.  To my amusement, the child was browsing for videos on toys unboxing.

Unboxing is a new terminology which basically is a video of someone opening a product and explaining its features. The quality of the videos is quite good as they are often sponsored by the product manufacturers themselves.

When I saw the video, I found it very interesting and exciting.  I was even more curious to observe the child’s eyes lighting up when the man in the video opened the cover; he was touching every piece of the toy, describing its finish, and so on.

The child was almost salivating with the entire experience.  As the video got over, he was quick enough to move to the next video with the same zeal and excitement. In a matter of about fifteen minutes, he scanned through over five different toy unboxing videos in delight and was so busy that he didn’t even bother where he was.

I was amused with the whole experience as this was the first time, I was seeing something like this.  When I looked back at my childhood, I seldom had toys of my own.

Yet, whatever the small collection that I had, I had played with them and preserved them to such an extent that it was passed on to at least next couple of generation of children to play with. Of course, I have seen my son growing up with toys in the past fifteen years ago, from when he was a toddler.

We had filled his room with toys, so that he had a whale of a time.  He used to get bored with the old toys soon after a new one was added to his collection. I remember he had something like more than 500 cars of the Hot Wheels collection in his kitty!

As the generation changes, I notice the evolution.  Today’s children are fascinated and contented with the world of internet, which is offering visual delight to fulfil their curiosity. Even today, my son is fairly updated on the unboxing videos of some of his favourite products on the internet.

While these are good on one hand, what I am still wondering is about the reality. I remember, even when I was a child, although I did not possess all the toys I wanted, I cherished what I had. Today, the trend seems to have reversed; there is too much focus on what is not there than what is available.

There seems to be a lot of focus on an idealistic world, which doesn’t exist in reality. We seem to be moving towards a bubble of living other people’s reality as our own. I wonder what would have happened if Newton had not held on to his curiosity of the question as to why the apple was falling from the tree.

He held on to this question for over a decade to find an answer, which was otherwise a common phenomenon for time immemorial. The question that I wanted to ponder on myself was the direction of curiosity.

When I direct my curiosity to learn something and implement it in my own life, it will be constructive.  Whereas, when I fill my curiosity to get even more curious to accumulate knowledge without real experience, it would be unproductive and possibly even depressing.

No wonder there is so much of depression around in recent times, because man’s curiosity is getting fed by a plethora of social media sites, the internet, newspapers, magazines, television channels, web series… so many different forms of media.

At present, we are flooded with inputs to arouse our curiosity.  The important element that needs to be addressed is the responsibility we should carry from these inputs. Without which, it will simply be a mental stimulation in vain.  Why would we invest precious human effort on things that focus too much on consumption rather than creation!

I am not even judging whether what’s happening is right or wrong. All I want is for us to pay attention and to be aware of the direction of curiosity. When it is directed well, it will result in something phenomenal, innovative, creative and path-breaking. Why not we give it a try!

 When I direct my curiosity to learn something and implement it in my own life, it will be constructive.

Whereas, when I fill my curiosity to get even more curious to accumulate knowledge without real experience, it would be unproductive and possibly even depressing.

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