I Live in a World of Wonder

Building Curiosity Into Your Spiritual Practice

Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back  Anonymous

As this early 20th-century saying implies, an enlivening satisfaction can be had by satisfying curiosity. The abbreviated warning “Curiosity killed the cat” probably never stifled curiosity, because the truth is that curiosity motivated the cat just as curiosity motivates people—at least people who are fearlessly self-confident.

What holds some people back from satisfying their curiosity is a fear of the unknown. Yet curiosity has empowered explorers of every kind.

It was curiosity that motivated sailors of long ago to travel out of sight of land. Imagine how frightened they must have been, not knowing whether they would fall off the edge!

Scientific understanding advances only because of curiosity. Inventions improving the quality of physical life are inspired by curiosity. This is how humanity evolves and nations develop.

Curiosity drove the westward expansion of the United States. While replicating Lewis and Clark’s westward travels, William Least Heat-Moon contemplated a favorite quotation from Alastair Reid: “Only the curious have, if they live, a tale worth telling.”

The “if they live” part may be off-putting, but only to those immune to wonder. In those special wonder-struck moments, we become as curious as a cat—and we truly live.

Curiosity is the stimulus that promotes a creative response.

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