MuuvWell Blog

Be Curious

November 27, 2023

A friend of mine who is a skilled salesman likes to say, “Whoever asks the most questions wins.” In his context, he means that when selling a product, you have to bring solutions to the people you are talking to, and you don’t know what solutions you can bring, or even if you have a solution, until you learn about the people you are talking to. The more questions you can ask, the more you can learn about a person if you are willing to listen.

We can generalize the point. How do great scientists operate? How do detectives go about solving crimes? How do writers make a good thesis statement? In each case, they come up with questions that, if they knew the answer, they would likely have learned something important. What this reveals is that being curious can be a strength.

Contrast this with people who are not. Such people are limited; they won’t learn much, because they don’t care to. They have what you might call a plain vision of the world—it has no depth to it and everything about it could be easily known if we had enough time and resources. Or worse, maybe they don’t have this plain view, but they just don’t care to learn more.

Cultivate a Sense of Wonder

To avoid being one of these more limited people, we must cultivate what could be a called a sense of wonder. For instance, when you look at the stars, or photos taken from telescopes of deep space objects, it’s appropriate to be struck by how amazing these things are. In fact, that amazement really shouldn’t decrease if you know a lot about such things; those who have studied physics and cosmology with humility understand that learning more about the universe has led to even more unanswered questions. The same holds true for genetics or the study of consciousness and the mind.

This is no surprise to philosophers and theologians. According to a prominent theological strain in Christianity and Judaism, God is ineffable, meaning that God is too great a being to be articulated. When it comes to our own creation, in Psalm 139:14, the psalmist lauds God, saying, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

This is as it should be. There are things beyond our understanding, and they are meant to elicit a response of curiosity and wonder, drawing us to ponder the most important things. So, as we turn from Thanksgiving and toward Christmas, cultivate a sense of curiosity and wonder!

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