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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

On Curiosity

People don't usually consider curious people unintelligent. They may lack the knowledge of a certain topic, yet they are willing to learn more about it. That separates them from those who don't wish to advance their knowledge at all. So why is it that asking questions is so frowned upon?

Perhaps it is due to the fact that any expression of a lack of knowledge would be categorized as stupidity. I've mentioned that I wasn't familiar with something and I'd receive cries of, "How could you not know that?" or, "Isn't that common knowledge?". I don't understand the attack on not knowing. Any incredulous outbursts should be focused on not wanting to know or not wanting to learn. Or ideally, people should keep their outbursts to themselves.

It goes back to the level of exposure. Nobody should be ridiculed for the lack of exposure, as people simply grow up differently. While one person might have had the opportunity to travel and read thousands of books, another might have grown up in an environment where that wasn't a priority.

My parents have always stressed the importance of education. While growing up, they made sure we were focused on our schooling and they cut down on mindless entertainment. For a while. When money and compatibility problems (light term, they just liked to argue, it seemed) came up, they no longer had the time or patience to devote to us. So my sister and I turned to other sources. We were kind of on our own. I didn't have someone to look up to at that point, as I am the oldest. And my behavior only influenced Mariela. We had a limited number of books, as our family did not find the time to go to libraries as often. We didn't visit museums, parks, we didn't go on giant adventures because the priorities had been shifted.

In the middle of this, we moved into a hotel for two years (yes, two years- no, no we didn't order hotel food) because of a mold problem. And then I switched schools. And my brother popped up unexpectedly. My academic performance took a toll and that was a result of the lack of stimulation and exposure.

I lack worldly knowledge and I have felt ashamed of that. I'm not able to toss out random "fun facts" in conversations. I haven't been able to offer opinions on foreign cultures and other things. But I am curious. I want to learn. And I feel as though people like me should be helped along the way.

I am in no ways an endless well of knowledge. I retain what I learn, but for the most part, I tend to think things out. I'll wander around in my head if I get a little bit of information. This makes a lot of my thoughts rather emotional instead of fully logical and based in truth. So I gravitate towards topics that require thought, rather than truth. That's why I like writing so much. You don't need to follow any sort of formula to get an answer, you make one up.  

The world runs on both questions and answers. Intelligence shouldn't be measured by the amount of knowledge you have, but also the willingness you have to learn more. People who ask questions should be more confident in asking them. People who know more should be ready and willing to help out.

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