“Curiosity Killed the Cat!”

Do you ever find yourself saying something and later thinking, “What in the world did that mean?!” “Do I even agree?” This phrase is a case in point. I’m sure I’ve said these words, probably in the context of trying to discourage my children from doing something they wanted to do (and it’s probably a good idea to determine whether I agree with the phrase before I say it), but I’ve come to believe that this particular axiom is erroneous and potentially dangerous. I’m going to suggest that if curiosity did kill the cat, it was probably exciting for a time and infinitely preferable to a long, slow decline caused by lack of curiosity!

Imagine going through life without curiosity about the people and things around us. I suppose it’s possible (particularly if we can’t learn to turn off our electronic devices!), but it sounds pretty boring. President Murray is talking about curiosity in his 2-13-15 blog post when he speaks of the value of international travel and exposure to other cultures. His link to 7 Cultural Concepts… fits into the theme of this blog as well. Jugaad is one of the concepts mentioned that requires enormous curiosity (I’ll intentionally not define “Jugaad” in the hopes that I’ll spark your curiosity about it and you’ll check out the link if you haven’t already.)

Curiosity requires (again with the lists!):

  • Admitting we don’t know everything
  • Intellectual engagement
  • Interaction with what we’re hearing/seeing/feeling
  • An open mind
  • An open heart

It’s an essential component of the Integrated Learning concept that Cascadia College embraces and now that I think about it, curiosity is an integral requirement for group work as well. Hmmmm, maybe I’ll have to rethink my aversion to group work….

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