What is Curiosity?
Curiosity can be defined as “an eager desire to know,” or as “the desire to see or learn something that is new or unknown.” Curiosity is one of the most useful qualities that man has and it has proved to be of great help to mankind. Mothers know well this quality, for they ofter hear curious questions from their children , such as, “ Where did I come from? “ “Why the sky blue?” “How can God see me if I’m hiding?” and the like.
Curiosity is an intellectual element that distinguishes man from animal. Mokeys limit their travel to hundred square kilometres at the most, while man has explored the four corners of the earth. He even wants to know what life is like on other planets, a question that has been causing him to explore space.
It was curiosity that led Isaac Newton to dicover, the law of gravity, and it was this quality also that stimulated Jules Verne to create his famous novels of science-fiction. You can think on many more examples of this kind.
But you have to remember that what we have mentoned is curiosty in the best sense of the term. Like all other instincts and qualities, its use can be wise or foolish or even harmful. There are different kinds of curiosity, bad as well as good. That is why it has also been defined in a bad sense as “inquisitiveness.” In a bad sense “Inquisitive” means “ to eager to know about other people’s affair that are not your own business.” It is because of this kind of curiosity that you often hear someone say: “Mind your own business.”
There is yet another kind of curiosity that needs to be quarded against, because, if not properly controlled, it might become a weakness rather than an advantage.
You had better not be curious about things that can do you harm. For instance, many youths have become alcoholic addicts simply because of curiousity about what it is like to be drunk. If drinking becomes a habit or an addiction, it is very difficult for you to get the rid of it.
Truly, curiosity is one of the greatest gifts with which God has equipped our minds. But it has to be wisely controlled. You have to realize what kind of curiosity you have in mind. Is it a curiosity that leads you to an understanding of certain knowledge that will be useful to you or for the benefit of mankind? It is a curiosity directed towards religious questions that will lead you to a realization of the greatness of God?