Journalism training teaches students to ask the questions: who, what, where, when, why and how. Maybe our socialization into the culture should teach everyone to ask the same questions or, at least, be curious enough to seek out those answers. Why are they asking me to do that? Who gains if I do that? Where are they asking me to go? When do they want me to be there? Why? How can we accomplish that? Would things be different if we as a political voice had asked these questions in 2016? Who benefited by sidestepping questions about global climate change? Why aren’t we on Mars yet?
At some point we need to suspend our embedded assumptions and lean into the unknown. That’s being curious and I have to admit I don’t always find comfort in the unknown. But that’s the point of growth, isn’t it?
In November of 1974, while promoting a match, Muhammad Ali said: “If a man looks at the world when he is 50 the same way he looked at it when he was 20 and it hasn’t changed, then be has wasted 30 years of his life.”
“I am neither clever nor especially gifted. I am only very, very curious.”
A year later Ali told Playboy magazine: “The man who has no imagination stands on the earth — he has no wings, he cannot fly.” From Ali we can imply that curiosity could eliminate all kinds of waste from our lives and the imagination that comes from curiosity could give us wings to go anywhere we want and not anywhere anyone wants to lead us.