I always find myself wondering. Wondering about many things people have told me are not worth wondering about. “Why think about it when you can’t use it?” I’ve heard often. Usually what they say “can’t use it”, they mean it won’t make me any money or won’t impress anyone.
I don’t have a lot of money and don’t have any ambitions of becoming filthy rich. I’m not impressive and have no desire to impress anyone either. My goal is not wealth, power, respect, attention, luxury, or even security. My goal is to live a life embracing, cultivating, and protecting the relationships I truly value, starting with my relationship with my Father in Heaven. Money and respect are great, and they’ll definitely help me in pursuing my goals, but they will never be the goal. So, while I understand the importance and advantages of resource and reputation, these are tools to me, like a hammer and wrench, not ends. My goal is not to have a lot of hammers, but to build a house, even more, to have a home.
So why wonder about all these seemingly useless questions? Because in the search for answers a thousand stories come alive. It’s like when a kid asks his parents, “Where did I come from?”, and, boom, there’s the stork, the birds and the bees, and other amusing illustrations. Then there are other questions. “What’s a stork?”, “Where does he pick the babies up from?”, “What’s a bee?”, “Where does the bee come from?”, and the never ending hows and whys.
This is why we learn so much as children. From age of 0-20 we learn a language or two, or even more. We learn incredible physical capabilities such as walking, running, and rolling, We learn expressions. We learn basic and complex math, science, arts. We learn systems and ways of living in society. Yet when we start our jobs, most of us only learn how to make money, how to make ends meet, how to impress other people. From 20 – 75 or even 100, for most people, there will be no new languages, no new instruments, or new subjects – all because we stopped wondering. Why do we stop? My guesses are: probably indifference, we stop caring about the things that don’t matter – which, like I said, don’t make money or impress, or maybe pride, we think we know enough or have enough, or maybe even intimdation, we think certain things are beyond us.
So let me set you free from these mindsets:
1. Stop not caring. Be curious about everything again. There’s more to life than making money, buying stuff, going places, and impressing people. Like what? Like running in the rain for example. Try it the next time it rains. That’s free and freeing.
2. Stop being proud. Be like a child with nothing to prove and everything to discover. No one knows it all. There are geniuses. There are very informed people. But no one, not even polymaths, knows everything about everything.
3. Stop being intimated. Be brave. Go ask. No one has a monopoly on learning. You can learn no matter who you are, no matter how little or much money you have, or how high or low your grades were, or what language you speak, village you live in, school you studied in. You have a question in your head, keep asking and looking for the answer. You’ll find it. When you find it, share it, there are others who may be asking a similar question.