2017-12-06 / Columns

LEDGER COLUMNIST

Where would we be without curiosity?
CODY SOSSAMON
Ledger Publisher

Have you ever been in a setting with a crowd of people where it was obvious that they all (or most of them anyway) were about to die with curiosity?

For example, I was attending a meeting at a local plant a few weeks ago and there were about 25 of us who had to walk through the employee break room to get to the meeting room.

I could almost read the minds of those on break.

“Who are those people and what are they doing here?“

The same intrigue occurs in many other situations.

If I happen to have a “closed-door” meeting with someone here at The Ledger — employee or visitor — the whispering begins.

“What are they talking about?”

“I wonder what they did.”

“Who is that in there with him?”

And it doesn’t have to occur in the workplace. That “wanting-to-know” feeling can strike anywhere.

You can be at Walmart and see two people arguing.

“What are they fighting about?”

Or, “Is that the mother or the grandmother?”

Basically, curiosity can strike anyone, anytime or anyplace.

Some of you might call it being nosy.

Like when the neighbor across the street peers out from behind the curtains trying to figure out what’s going on at your house. Being “nosy” according to one definition is “showing too much curiosity.”

Being nosy, I suppose, leads to being a gossip.

After all, if you’re not nosy, you probably won’t have anything juicy to gossip about.

Humans don’t have the exclusive rights to being curious.

As the saying goes, “Curiosity killed the cat.”

Not only cats, though, are curious.

Animals of all kinds like to know what’s going on or what something is.

Our dogs and cat are perfect examples.

If either Sherry or I go into the bathroom and close the door, one of the animals (or all three) are sure to follow. The door doesn’t quite latch properly, so all it takes is a slight touch of a paw or nudge of a nose and the door opens.

Animals try to figure things out by sniffing around with their noses.

I wonder if that’s where the term “nosy” comes from?

Apparently not, from my research on the world wide web. But I did learn about the term “Nosy Parker,” which describes an overly inquisitive person.

Don’t think I’ve ever heard that one before, so I have learned something today. In that sense it’s been a good day.

And for other reasons, as well.

Wouldn’t you like to know….

Where would we be, though, if not for curiosity? The advances made in all fields that give us the creature comforts we enjoy today derived from someone’s curiosity.

The saying, “Curiosity killed the cat” is meant to warn about unnecessary investigation or experimentation, but a second part — “but satisfaction brought it back” — was added to show the risk is sometimes worth the effort.

There’s only one way to end this: “Who is the man in the yellow hat?”

kids are born curious about the world. What adults primarily do in the presence of kids is unwittingly thwart the curiosity of children. — Neil deGrasse Tyson

CODY SOSSAMON (cody@gaffneyledger.com) is publisher of The Gaffney Ledger.

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