#3: The curious case of curiosity
Wow. I’ve made it to day 3. That’s 50% longer than my 2-day streaks of doing something new. Mildly regretting setting an expectation of making this an everyday thing. But hey, this is not about the process, this is about identity…I guess I’m a writer now.
Today we talk about curiosity. One of my favourite newsletters, Splainer (linked below), often compiles a list of curious facts. One of the facts I read today was on Thomas Edison’s special test for job applicants. He would invite applicants for a meal, and order soup for the table. He would then sit back and observe if they added salt and pepper before tasting the soup, or would they taste and then season. Edison immediately rejected the premature seasoners, as he didn’t want people who relied on assumptions. In his opinion, those who were content to abide by preconceived notions had no place in his business. The absence of curiosity and willingness to ask questions were antithetical to innovation, he reasoned.
What a prick! Everyone knows there is no such thing as too much seasoning.
But no, I do see the value in valuing curiosity. What are some things that trigger curiosity?
- Something new — That you haven’t seen, heard of or experienced before
- Something complicated — You want to know it enough to make it simple
- Something that challenges your beliefs — You think the soup is under-seasoned, but is it really?
A subject that checks all three boxes for me is a woman’s desire to have a baby. (Wow didn’t expect this to take such a turn, did you?) It’s new in the sense that it’s not something I have experienced, I definitely have a complicated relationship with the thought of having a baby. It also challenges some of my very fundamental beliefs that mostly stem from just the ‘why?’ of it.
So logically, I should be curious to find out more about this. But I avoid this subject like the plague. Turns out, in the last two years, I haven’t even avoided the plague as much as I have avoided this subject. Until today. I listened to Maya Shankar talk about her own struggle on her podcast ‘Slight change of plans’ (linked below). I don’t want to let on too much about it. You MUST listen to this episode if you’re curious, even a little bit, about why women feel strongly enough to have a baby, and the lengths to which they would go to to endure pain and heartbreak. I had to pause the episode one too many times to just take deep breaths. I’m filled with such deep appreciation for Maya to share her complicated journey with curious strangers like me.
I think this has done sufficiently well to satisfy whatever little curiosity I had about this subject. My brain has flooded my body with enough dopamine to last a while.
Some of the parts:
Splainer (highly recommend subscribing to this!): https://splainer.in/
Slight change of plans: https://www.pushkin.fm/episode/mayas-slight-change-of-plans/