Curiosity Killed the Cat

By , Crownsville, MD
Curiosity killed the cat. Truly if a greater fallacy were ever spoken, I have yet to hear it. Many things could be responsible for the death of a feline, but certainly a want for understanding is not among them. In fact if it weren’t for curiosity, humans would still be living in cold, dark caves, dragging our knuckles and grunting at one another. Curiosity is the foundation of all learning. Without a desire to comprehend the extent of our existence there would be no point to education and everyone would live in the realm of another common cliché, “ignorance is bliss.”



I didn’t always think this way. I used to believe just the opposite; that it was just fine to go along with the intellectual grain and learn exactly what was taught, repeating and reciting it word for word. There were some times in school where I just felt like a human tape recorder taking everything in and only thinking about it come test time. It wasn’t until later in my high school career that I began to fully realize that knowledge is more than remembering what other people say is true, it is discovering the truths that are not yet in a textbook. As Galileo once said, “All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.” My goal is to be the one who fulfills Galileo’s proclamation and discover the truths that are yet to be revealed.



The first teacher to every challenge me to look beyond the pages of a book and into its context was my freshman religion teacher, Mr. Dugan. In a class about the bible and the church I simply expected to be pelted with creeds and dogmas with no explanations besides “it’s right because it’s always been right.” To my surprise though the first thing I heard out of his mouth was, “everything they teach here is useless.” I was astounded, stunned, even flabbergasted. How could he make such a rash statement? I raised my hand, being the product of schools rules that I was, and asked him about it. I asked what he meant by that and why he had said it. He coolly responded, “because everything they teach here leaves out the most important thing about life; the if that happens in the middle of it.”

My interest piqued and I pressed him harder thinking he had tried to play off his statement with a cliché explanation. Puzzled as to what he meant I said, “but isn’t the job of a school to prepare us for life?” Again his response was quick and profound, “they do, if you’re going to be a scholar who lives his life out in a library, but if you plan on doing something other than that, you’re going to have to start thinking for yourself.” I took his challenge of personal knowledge and never looked back.





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