Saturday, April 23, 2011

LtLM Vol Three- Curiosity

There are very few topics that I am not interested in. And even things that I’m not interested in, I’ll listen to what you have to tell me. I may not understand it, but I’ll listen. And if I’m not into it, I’ll still be psyched that you are. Like accountants with their tax laws, not my thing. But if you’re into it then go you! (Plus you can charge me way too much to do my taxes.) There are so many subjects that are so downright fascinating to me that it sort-of hurts my brain to think about it all.

In fact, when I was a kid, I used to get angry thinking about all the stuff there was in the universe to know about. I used to think that I had to find a way to know everything because there was just so damned much to know. And then when I figured out that one single human being can’t possibly know everything- even if they spent every single second of every single day of their entire lives studying things and learning- I got pissed off. I thought “What the hell’s the point, then?”

Rational people pointed out to me that this is why passion exists. You find something you’re really passionate about- something that really floats your boat- and you study that enough to become a bit of an expert. That way even though you don’t know even a trillionth of what there is to know, you can still be intelligent and educated about at least one thing.

Regardless of how my passion about that one thing may have expanded and faded over the years I have never lost my inquisitiveness. If I could have found a way to financially afford spending the rest of my life in college I would have. Outside in the real world I’m still asking questions- all the time, to everyone. You start talking to me about something and I will start asking you how it works. My favorite thing to do on any given vacation is go to a museum- that’s the number one attraction of any place (which is why I never plan vacations to the beach or on a cruise). My reading list never stops growing and I’m constantly adding to it. I could spend an entire month watching the Discovery channel and not get bored. (Although eventually Mike Rowe narrating every single thing might get a little old.) I’m often getting down on myself for not using my time more efficiently to learn about something.

This trait, I used to think, was nothing special. I mean, with so much to know how could you not want to learn more? But then the more exposure I got to the world, the more people I met who just didn’t give a sh*t. They wouldn’t do a project for school- even when they could choose the topic. They had no interest in reading, going to school, learning more. They’d sit across from me in a training that I was fascinated by and struggle to keep their eyes open. They’d look at me like I was crazy when I got excited and animated talking about what I’d just learned about some random thing.

I didn’t get it at first, I didn’t understand how they could have ready access and the obvious capacity to understand so much more than they did and not want to. Especially when you can use your smart phone to look up something- anything- and retrieve a million articles on in 0.000247 seconds. But some people just genuinely don’t care.

Me? I think I’ll always care. I’ll always want to know more. I’ll always be pissed off that my knowledge on any given topic isn’t deeper, or that all the facts and figures I’ve learned over the years can be immediately recalled and cited. I’ll always be expanding my reading list, looking for another museum, watching the Discovery channel and hoping on Wikipedia because I just have to know what the hell that person it talking about. I’ll never be satisfied and I’ll never be bored. And now, looking at so many people in the world who just don’t and knowing that I do- I appreciate it.

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