Daddy, why is the colour of the Pacific Ocean blue? Why does the moon follow us everywhere? Why is there snow on some mountain peaks even in the summer? Why do I hear claps of thunder right before rain? Why do some dogs grow so big but others stay small? Can the woman on television see me? Why are some kids so tall and I am short? How come I can talk to grandma on the phone but she lives on the other side of the world?
As children, we never stopped asking questions. We saw every adult as a potential source of answers to our never-ending questions. The world was a mystery like a birthday present waiting to be unwrapped. We wanted to get our hands dirty to explore every creature in the mud. We wanted to showcase our artistic talent by splashing colours all over the wall. We looked forward to every art class to get our hands on the sharpest crayons to create the next masterpiece of stick figures. And were we ever so proud.
Then the questions stopped. The art work also stopped. We grew into adolescents and then adults. We fell into society’s expectations of what we were all supposed to become. The adult world brought rules and restrictions as to what each person’s role should be in society. There were boundaries we were told not to cross. Along the way, our childhood curiosity became suppressed. We stopped asking questions and took for granted what we were told by society. To question assumptions became dangerous, and we were forced to buy into the lies and fiction of politicians. Those who fail to conform are ridiculed and become pariahs.
But child-like curiosity is exactly what keeps the wheels of the economy turning. Had it not been for curiosity, we would not be sitting here typing away on our computers and showcasing our ideas to the world. The world runs on curiosity and creativity. The constant questioning of status quo leads to new discoveries in every industry. It is what points to new sources of insight that lead to progress in the arts, sciences and technology. At a time when technology is the solution to many of humanity’s problems, it is more important than ever to exercise what children do best – to question and explore. If by now you cannot figure out why some mountain peaks are covered in snow even in the summer, do not be afraid to go and research.