Your Inquisitiveness

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Some say, “Curiosity kills a cat.”

Yes, out of curiosity, Adam and Eve violated God’s moral law and introduced original sin to mankind.

But what’s your take about the following?

“Curiosity… (the) wonder for understanding,  (is) the hallmark of the writer, God’s spy.” said Han Suyin in Crippled Tree, the first book in her autobiographical series.

I have no problem of Han elevating writers as “God’s spies,” namely, some special agents on earth who tried to crack into life’s questions on behalf of the common people.

I did give it a second thought though, regarding her naming of “curiosity” as the hallmark of writers.

Yes, sometimes, inquisitiveness may be the motivation for one to dive into a  subject matter and hence, it triggers off the entire thinking and writing process.

However, does inquisition always yield the right thing, i.e., things that are worthy of our attention; literature that are of life-changing values? I’m afraid that half of the time, it is quite the contrary.

Curiosity may be an integral part of one’s learning process. For example, an advertisement for washing detergent in England featured a child covered in paint. The text was: “It’s not mess, it’s curiosity.” (see reference note.)

Curiosity may counter age-old familiarity, and therefore encourages new discoveries and new-found knowledge.

Curiosity may also help deter uncritical absorption of anything and every traditionally or stubbornly defined.

However, one should reckon that curiosity may also yield findings with fallible interpretations. The outcome of one’s inquisition may be a much welcome, groundbreaking piece, like that of a report by “God’s spy.” On the other hand, it could also err on one’s limitations in processing the data, incorrect methodology of criticism, or simply, an overconfidence in one’s hypothesis.

All in all, a spirit of inquisitiveness is great. But at the same time, we should be reminded that the findings due to our curious attempts might not always be as glorious and justified as we thought it be.

* Counter Ref:  

Trevor Cooling: “Curiosity and the Christian Teacher,” JE&CB 9:2 (2005) 87–103           http://www.jecb.org/index.php?option=com_docman&task=cat_view&gid=64&dir=DESC&order=name&limit=5&limitstart=5

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About Florence Kuek

Was lecturer and researcher at a state university. Currently serving as Head of Student Services at a college. Has a pastoral heart for people. PhD candidate, Chinese Studies at University of Malaya.
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