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Curiosity does not kill

The one gift every parent should bequeath to her child is the unconditional freedom to be curious. The world is full of wonderful things and wondrous happenings. To allow the child to explore freely without pressure or parental preference is to allow the child to grow up to be thinking, questioning adult. Curiosity is the lust of the mind. The more you feed it, the more it grows. It takes amoebic proportions, for a mind full of questions wanders anywhere and everywhere in search of answers. Our school system tries to box this creature to mould it into a uniform shape, easy to control and convenient to grade. The mavericks who manage to escape with their curiosity intact are the ones who become our writers and scientists, filmmakers and chefs, our poets and dancers. The world seen through the eyes of a 5-year-old is an amazing place. The shiny slimy track left behind by a snail in the garden is as interesting as the moong sprouting in the kitchen. The mixing of colours to create a new colour, the adding of cardamom to add flavour to a cup of tea, the texture of the sand as it slips through that tiny closed fist or the rhythm of the drums that impels little feet to dance are activities that make life an adventure. If this curiosity is nurtured, the child grows up with the desire to understand the larger world. The world beyond the boundaries is drawn out for him by the teacher or the parent. He learns to respect the environment, becomes a good listener and empathises with the people around him. He becomes a problem solver because he will be forever curious about the outcome of his actions. He will be a 'do'er and not a mere 'be'er. The parents' fear of failure is easily relayed to the children, and often this forces the child to retract his steps. Let the child fly. The higher he soars, the wider his vision. Kipling nailed it when he said, 'I keep six honest serving-men ( They taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When And How and Where and Who... Our world is like The Old Curiosity Shop. One never knows what is lurking in the nooks and corners. The child that basks in this glorious uncertainty is the child who remains happy. And that is really what we want.


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