No matter whether it is a cat or human, every living is curious. Curiosity is the source of an exciting relationship with life, and it is not something that can be learned through personal development books.
If the humor makes the mouse stronger than the elephant, the curiosity makes the illiterate more than a scholar. Any information that has been frozen, left unused will correspond only to blindness. Scientific knowledge is valid and valuable because we have the right to doubt and to feel curious about it. Do not forget that every superstition is real until you approach it with curiosity and realize that it is nonsense. However, the children and those who can protect their ‘inner children’ from destruction from growing can have the courage to look at the life differently. But Little Black Fish wonders the oceans, the Little Prince goes to different planets, but only a child can tell that the king is naked.
This is true, what happens to the person is caused by curiosity, but somehow this is a negative thing in our culture. If we do not want not only our schools but also our lives to be the cemetery of our aspirations, we need to think about the reasons of this negative relationship that we built with curiosity. Curiosity, discovery and enjoyment are successive processes and can only be experienced by facing the reality that exists now and here, but not by escaping those facts. In a country where the children are reprimanded saying “do not make inventions!” even when they propose something different, it is not even a dream to expect that inventors will come up. Restricting creativity to an unreachable level makes the word itself fearful, not to mention the results of such a process. In primary school, if the child lifts the finger saying, “I have found the meaning of life,” it is quite possible that the child will be reprimanded saying that “Cut your fingernails first”.
As long as schools are places where all kinds of individualities are blocked unproficiently and subjugating to a mediocre standard is encouraged rather than the places where curiosity and information, the child’s most natural sensitivities, are diversified and multiplied, fed and deepened, there are not many reasons why we will be hopeful for the future.
Education with curiosity is similar to love without affair; it has neither taste nor salt. If you are given a lot of information although you do not have interest in it, it will bother you and make you hate information. The education, which is designed without a dimension of creating interest and curiosity and as answers without questions, is the greatest evil to be made for information, and remember that the greatest evils are those made in the name of goodness.
What turns information into an adventure is your curiosity and the research process that you have entered in the direction of this curiosity. What makes your result valuable is the path you passed. Today, the roundness of the world is not the information that will excite any of us; even that it is not information anymore!
However, Galileo had reached that information with unsound possibilities and at the cost of throwing his life at risk. None of us can experience Galileo’s excitement which he had in the adventure of reaching this information.
This is not something about the nature of information, but about the nature of our relationship that we established with information. If the process of acquiring information does not involve as much excitement as the process of production, it means that we ruin both ourselves and information.
It is not surprising that the child, whose curiosity is suppressed unproficiently in the school, has only the brand curiosity with which he/she can take revenge. Adults who derived curiosity from their lives substitute it with the curiosity of gossip and they go around happily in a magazine labyrinth.
No matter whether in the family, in school or in society; authority and oppression encourage dishonesty and diminish creativity. You cannot reach goodness without facing up to evil, freedom is such a thing. Even if the price is high, freedom is the only possibility available to achieve better.
Any kind of creativity is humble, if you start your life saying that “A Turkish is worth the whole world”, it is not surprising that it is difficult to go further. Individuality, positive laziness, loneliness, imagination and the right to be bored are the incubations of both creativity and universal innovations.
To put it mildly, it is naïve to wait for inventions from the cultural structures where it is a problem to find a home if your bachelor, where being unordinary is almost deemed to be illegitimate, where a straggler is trapped by a wolf, where everyone races with each other to rectify the painted birds, and where even the Nobel prize winner is made feel regretful immediately.
Creativity may accidently fall into the countries where everyone knows what everyone else is going to say, where nobody says something new in order not to mislead anyone, where nobody learns nothing from anybody not to become a slave for 40 years, where breaking the routine is performed only by the advocate of the devil, where the future of the next generation is determined not by themselves but y the government and where many strange things are invented in order not to contradict with the authority.
Curiosity and creativity are our only wealth in the world. Although everything refers that we are in this world as much as we consume, consumption without production and creativity produces only unhappiness. The only way to duplicate and make meaningful life limited to a certain time span is to look at the world at any moment with an exciting curiosity. You may think that a life without curiosity is life, but it is not!
Passion… What a beautiful trait!
Dr. A. Adnan Akçay
ODTÜ (METU) Sociology Department
Source: ODTÜLÜ Sayı 58 Ekim – Aralık 2015