Children are naturally inquisitive. Living with three little beautiful human beings has forced me to answer a lot of questions. Questions that I’ve never thought of myself. Answers that I’ve considered to be a given. My children keep on asking. One question leading to the next. All of a sudden I find I am not so sure anymore.
Is it possible to reach the end of the rainbow? What happens when you die? Why do girls and boys have separate dressing rooms? Why do the planets spin around the sun? What is cancer?
We try to find the answer together. To google is a frequently used verb in this household. Sometimes we find the answer. Sometimes we don’t. Not finding an answer could be simply because no one knows. It’s good for the kids to realize that we don’t have an answer for everything.
Even if there is an explanation we must always be prepared to question it. Confronted with the new evidence we must always consider to change our mindset. Sometimes a question has multiple answers because people have different beliefs. I try to share those different views to the best of my knowledge. At the same time, I explain my point of view on the matter. What I believe to be true. My motivation for believing what I do.
Being curious and seeking knowledge is an essential trait for humans. It is the single most important trait for all the innovations we make. All successful researchers remain curious throughout their lives. Always willing to question everything and change direction when the outcome of an experiment isn’t as expected.
The importance of curiosity applies to all humans. If you are curious, being inquisitive naturally follows. Then you can learn new things as long as you have an open mind. Keeping an open mind is equally important as maintaining your curiosity. At all times you must be willing to question what you believe in or thought was true. Curious people tend to also have an open mind. Combine curiosity and keeping an open mind with respect. Now you have the recipe for a great personality.
Interacting with people that have a different outlook on life can be very enlightening. Explaining what you believe to another person forces you to articulate that belief more clearly. This can be frustrating too. When you feel that there is no way to reach the other person. To reach an understanding of both your and her point of view. These situations provoke me. But I am getting better at not letting them. In these situations, it’s better to simply walk away. I am not going to be able to make this person see things from my perspective. This person is so locked on what she believes to be true that no other answer is ever even worth considering. Blind belief is the worst kind! I try to raise my children to alert them to the danger of having a blind belief. Blind beliefs lead to lack of understanding for other people and they are causing so much chaos in the world.
So I try to accept that other people can have different beliefs. After all, I am truly fortunate to live in a country where there is freedom of speech and religion. This is as it should be.
We as adults can also learn from children. They have a naturally open mind. Don’t impose your fear and prejudice on them. Help them keep that open mind and thereby you are helping yourself to do likewise.