Curious people are more stimulated, more engaged, have better relationships, and generally find more meaning in their lives. Stated differently, curiosity is a great quality for anyone who wants to get more out of life.
Yet ironically, curiosity is rarely encouraged in schools, or churches, or most of other group settings. These institutions are too often stuck in their old ways of passing on information, and consciously and unconsciously favoring conformity.
Thus as one sociologist writes, “A significant percentage of educated adults stop learning at a relatively early age, and believe they know what they need to know about politics and religion and everything else. But this is a lie, or at least a deeply flawed approach to the human experience.”
Learning is of course endless in every conceivable area of life. It goes on and on. It never ends. In some instances, it is a source of great joy found in the delight of new discoveries. In some instances, it is a source of significant pain as one unearths the cost of ignorance, indifference or negligence.
But the hunger to learn, and its engine the curious mind, will always bear the fruits of a deeper and more satisfying life. Clinical psychologist and professor, Todd Kashdan, writes that “curious people benefit in very concrete ways including better intimate relationships, the reduced likelihood of early onset neurological disease, and higher measures of happiness.”
As we celebrate Mich over the weekend, I am remembering how much he valued and practiced curiosity. He welcomed exposure to new thinkers, undiscovered theologians, and great poets. He cared about books, art and music. He invited others to join him on that creative journey.
On Sunday morning, Mich and I will be musing together on what we have learned from each other, and about faith, over these past ten or twenty years.
Come and celebrate with us.