How curiosity is shaping us and why it’s important to stay curious

6_June_2013_curiosity

Curiosity, simply defined as thirst for knowledge, exploration, investigation, and learning, is the answer for our everyday development. Whatever and whenever we do is because we stay curious 24/7. But as humankind has been able to build sky-penetrating buildings, breach the sound barrier in human flight, cure many diseases, or be it space travel, everything we had done can’t be justified as perfect solution to problems. Instead whatever we had done has given rise to new problems.

It all started with the discovery of fire about 790,000 years ago. Since then humans have continued to look for better techniques, processes, or system to enhance their lives and to reduce human effort. With every discovery or invention, we thought that it will change the world for a good, but no! It doesn’t seem like getting along with our vision. Here are few examples to support my point:

  • We had bicycles which served us well. But out of curiosity and desire of delivering everything from goods to humans fast, we invented cars. This invention saved us millions of time but now is destroying our planet. We are worrying and fighting for global warming now-a-days and it seems we are nowhere close to eliminate this threat. Bottom-line? A Solution to a problem gave birth to a new problem.
  • Alexander Graham Bell invented telephone for faster communication. It did good to the society and everything was fine until we started producing mobile phones and did everything for its advancement. Now we have smartphones which are making our lives more complex rather than simplifying it. Bottom-line? A Solution to a problem gave birth to a new problem.
  • Mark Zukerberg’s Facebook aims to provide a platform to build connections from all around the world. After 9 years of its invention, we are looking at facebook addicts which contain a vital age group of 18-25 or privacy threats. Bottom-line? A Solution to a problem gave birth to a new problem.
  • Earlier we used to wear simple and plain textured clothes for example Khadi. Later we started manufacturing clothes with different material, color, print patterns, etc. which gave consumers various options, promoting fashion and style, which in turn allowed them to buy as many as they wanted (given they had money). Now we are looking at people screaming that they have too many clothes in their closet and they want to get rid of them. It has taken away their mental peace. Bottom-line? A Solution to a problem gave birth to a new problem.

These are only a few examples of problem-solution-problem (PSP) system in which we try to solve an existing problem and knowingly or unknowingly we generate a new problem. It’s not new. We are part of this system from many years. The question is “Can we do something about it?” The answer is unfortunately NO! The way I see it, we are in a loop which is not going to end anytime soon.

But, there is one good news to be happy about. The average life span of a human being is 69 years which suggests that every time a generation passes, the old set of ideas, assumptions and curiosity dies and a new set of curious batch shows up which keeps the loop running at its constant pace. Otherwise, if the loop slows down, the problem that last occurred will remain and there will be no new ideas or solution to cure it, thus destroying the loop. And when the loop ends, curiosity ends, and so does human beings. Bottom-line? Whatever we needed to sustain in this planet was discovered or invented 100+ years ago. We don’t need anything anymore. Whatever is discovered and invented now is only to sustain the system, to create needs and thus to feed our so-called emotion “curiosity”. So, try to work for a better world, not for a better bank balance or for a fancy technological advancement.

Stay curious!