Monday, October 17, 2011

When do we lose our curiosity?

My son Chase turns 2 next month. On November 11th to be exact. Nine days before I turn 30. Wow... that's a trip.

Anyways, there are moments when I look at Chase and realize that he has learned something since the last time I "really" looked at him and consciously observed him and actually processed what I was seeing, mannerisms, eye contact, demeanor, body language... Sometimes I recognize the fact that he is a different person than the last time I spent time with him. Whether it's after a day at work or from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon or even from when we get to Grandma and Grandpa's house to when we leave... there are definite moments when I witness the progression of human development. And I'm sure it's exaggerated, heightened, concentrated at this point in his life because he is evolving and growing and learning at such a prodigious rate (relative to the rest of his life)...

And it's exciting. To see the learning, the growth, the evolution of a human being. And also to see how curious he is, how much he wants to figure out how things work, "the hunger that a child feels for everything they're shown"...

And I can't help but wonder... when do we lose that? The curiosity and hunger for knowledge? Not just knowledge to help on a test or to provide insight into a job or to start a new hobby... but genuine curiosity for everything we're exposed to because it's all new...

I don't know how taxes work. Or how a car engine works. Or how wireless internet works. Or why the internet doesn't run out of space or why we can't combine hydrogen and oxygen to create water or why a million other things work. And I spend almost every day of my life completely okay with that.

But not Chase. If he doesn't know how to buckle a seat, he wants to figure it out. If he sees a wheel, he wants to spin it. If he sees a hammer and nail toy, he wants to play with it and familiarize himself with why it works.

Okay. Maybe he isn't concerned with the inner workings... maybe he just touches stuff and runs after things because they look cool and he's a toddler and it truly is brand new and why not chase that shopping cart? But even if that is the case and he's just reacting on instinct... isn't that effing cool? And why can't I be more like that? Why can't I figure out how taxes work or pick apart the inner workings of a car engine or study hydrogen and oxygen and mashing the elements together to create water?

When did I become so... not curious...?

Are we just too bogged down with everyday responsibilities and tasks and nagging chores that we forget to seek out what we don't know and learn about it? Or is it just because the world is so big and there are so many things that it's essential for our own survival to not be caught up in non-essential learning...?

Why can't we all just live with the curiosity of a child? The reckless abandon? The naive point of view?

Why do we all become so cynical, skeptical, guarded, responsible, lethargic, complacent, adult...?

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