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Question Everything!

Katie doesn’t have any experience with this topic—that’s why she’s opening up to all of you in hopes of learning more!

Why are we annoyed by curiosity? Dare I say scared by curiosity? I have two thoughts about this.

Thought 1:

Naturally, we are curious beings. I'm reading a book right now that is discussing the Cognitive Revolution and how human beings created different realities, cultures, and ways to live based on their people groups‘ beliefs, traditions, and lineage. I think this is incredible and really fascinating. We share so much biologically, but are able to be so vastly different in all other ways of our lives. (Key words being ‘able to be.’ It’s a good and beautiful thing that we are so different...) But over time, those different ideals got more and more disconnected and now if a person chooses to live differently, we start attributing opinions such as "right" and "wrong." Maybe now more than ever, I’m noticing when people’s choices and ideals are questioned, they get offended by the questions. Sure, sometimes the questions can come with underlying tones or messages that create defensiveness. But wouldn‘t you rather someone ask you a question in any form than just create an unsolicited opinion based on assumptions? I think this lack of communication is on both parties: The curious party has adapted to not asking questions because asking questions might mean a variety of things:

— there’s lack of trust

— they’re not a team player

— they’re difficult to work with

— they just disagree with everything

The questioned party has adapted to being offended by questions potentially because of the same examples mentioned above. (To be clear, none of these writings are rooted in any research or anything. They are simply my thoughts and observations). But when you really think about it, asking a question doesn’t mean any of those things. I think it’s actually the opposite. 1) There is an established trust allowing both parties to be willing to share questions and answers. 2) Being a team doesn’t mean following the coach like ducklings—it means working together with everyone on the field. 3) I personally think when someone says, “they’re difficult” in this regard, it’s an excuse and an outdated mentality. 4) And another excuse is writing off those who always disagree or play “devils advocate.” These are the people that need to be in the conversation. We only have our perspective so if someone is able to offer another perspective, that’s an incredible way to create more understanding and inclusion.

In the beginning, I don't think the intention was to divide us, but to simply give us ideals that instill purpose while we are on this earth. Without purpose, what are we living for? But, how do continue living with purpose from an ideal that you now question? You question its existence and how it came into existence. Are we really just living our lives based on a story that's been passed down through generations? Especially in today’s world with information being readily available, shared, and changed within milliseconds, it’s important that we start asking more questions. I had a professor once who talked about how excited she was that her son was voting differently than her in the then upcoming elections. She said it made her proud that she had raised someone to make their own decisions based in their own research as opposed to raising a carbon-copy of her who just lived his life the same way she did.

This is a perfect transition.

Thought 2:

When a child sees something that is different to what they know or have experienced, they ask about it. And what do we say? Sometimes we answer the question, sometimes we say we don't know, and other times we say, "Because I said so." Or my personal pet peeve, "That's just the way it is." I am not a parent and don't want to even pretend like I have experience in that arena. But as a teacher, when I'm trying to get through my lesson plans and I keep seeing hands fly up, I understand the notion to dismiss the question due to time. But when I really pause and think about it, not listening to my students question could be detrimental in many ways. This question may not be important to me at the moment but is very important to that student and is worth time. The question could also allow me the opportunity to learn something, too. Over time, if we keep shutting down our students questions, they’ll stop asking them. Then, we continue the cycle that I mentioned in my first thought. Students develop preconceived notions that asking questions is annoying or rude. Now, I do understand and actively practice problem-solving skills with my students. Sometimes when they ask certain questions, I answer with another question encouraging us to reach the answer together. But still, I have to first acknowledge the students question.

I may have some holes in my thinking here and I absolutely invite you to comment and ... ask questions. I probably have many questions, too. I want to keep encouraging questions. I want to keep encouraging curiosity. Curiosity is what has allowed human beings to evolve and advance the way that we have. I believe we will always be able to evolve, advance, and learn new things, therefore we need to always ask questions.

They say curiosity killed the cat. But a lack of curiosity will kill creativity.