Personal Journeys with Gramma

Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.

Touching Hot Burners

“What if I touch this glowing stove burner?” When we were little, our curiosity could lure us into trouble. Of course, poorly considered decisions didn’t always stop as we aged: “What if I throw gasoline on the grill to heat the coals faster?” Or maybe we listened to advice that wasn’t well informed because we liked the person who told us to do it: “I think I’ll drink bleach to prevent infection.” People whose experiments are really bad cull their own herd.

Generally, however, curiosity has driven humankind to discoveries and inventions that make life more convenient. Is convenience always our best choice, considering the cost? We may pretend that a need for curiosity belongs in primary classrooms because we know all we need to know, but curiosity opens doors we might not have realized existed. People mock scientists for changing their minds when we should all change our minds when we discover we’re wrong. According to Dr. Yoni Whitten, when people asked how non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Aleve, Advil, or aspirin work to stop pain, researchers discovered those drugs increase the duration of pain 10X when used over the long term. New information should change our choices.

When we refuse to examine information, we often miss insights that might have improved the quantity or quality of life. As many have noticed, a long life isn’t a value if your brain doesn’t remain healthy throughout or if your relationships are perpetually punitive. Yet we generally don’t teach life-affirming community or how to deal with loneliness or depression or injurious foods. The temporary high of feeling superior may dwindle if you discover insights you missed by not paying attention to people who had ideas or traditions different from your own. Or, when your luxurious, expensive house slips into the sea, cracks in half, or drops into a sink hole, you may wish you had expressed curiosity about the hazards around and beneath it before you paid the price.

People don’t like to admit they’re wrong about anything. In fact, people often don’t like to think about hard questions at all, and they teach their children to do the same: “Because I say so!” In other words, swallow authorities whole, even when they make you sick.

Being open-minded can encourage you to consider peculiar possibilities. You don’t have to embrace them to think about them. Thought leaders warn that to merely ponder “wrong” ideas opens you to evil. It opens you to independent thought that may decrease the influence of people who couldn’t prove their own points. I’m not ashamed to admit I’m enthusiastically curious. I never miss the TV show THE SECRET OF SKINWALKER RANCH because I want to know where investigations take us. I like science fiction teasers such as MOONFALL, THE ARRIVAL, NOPE, or INTERSTELLAR. I include a weird possibility I’ve read about behind the plots of most of my novels—not to suggest my readers believe anything in particular, but to pry minds open so they can wonder. My new novel RETURN TICKET highlights theories about the afterlife and Near Death Experiences. I haven’t died that I recall, but I did survey research to give readers an overview. There are reasons the ecological quality of our world has been degraded by human greed, and the biggest reason is the failure of most of us to be curious.

One comment on “Touching Hot Burners

  1. Frances Sullivan
    July 28, 2023

    Wonderful writing as always.

Leave a Reply

Follow This Blog via Email

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 324 other subscribers
%d bloggers like this: