2020 in Review: Curiosity

I’d like to think I’m a curious person. I enjoy questioning things to understand them better, and questioning people to understand them better too. I like reading to learn more about things I don’t have any knowledge about. When I discover I like something, I spend some time reading up about it more. I can’t remember being any other way. Since the last year, I’ve had more time for myself, and as a result I’ve had the chance to spend my time reading about anything I’ve been interested in.

What I’ve discovered as a result is that very frequently, as a child, there were things that I developed biases for that I refused to be curious about. I’d close off my mind to the extent that I wouldn’t entertain any form of literature about the subject. Based on the little information I had, I’d form conclusions and just refuse to entertain the possibility that if I explored it, perhaps it would appeal to my interest. I refused to acknowledge that it was valuable to spend my time on the subject, even if reading it may lead to learning, or even just make me happy. I think this is why as a child I never read any Princess Diaries books (I only read them last year), or why I didn’t really read up about Conservative parties in politics when I first heard about what they stood for. The initial impression made me feel that perhaps I wouldn’t enjoy it. Reading up about both those things has made me feel no regret.

In the past year, I’ve become more interested in spirituality and philosophy. I view these as allied subjects. During the course of the pandemic, I started reading primary literature about spiritual existence, and I found that it fascinated me. It raised more questions for me, and these questions were, and remain worthwhile for me to explore. I’ve enjoyed some lovely discussions with my parents about both these subjects, and with a couple of close peers. This has been momentous because I had mentally closed myself off to reading primary literature until the start of this year. I often felt like I wouldn’t understand any of it, or that it wouldn’t really interest me at all. Given how intrinsically linked spiritual and philosophical reading is with religious practice, and how I was wishy-washy on religious practices in the past, I never really thought I would care about some of these things at all.

However, something sparked a sense of curiosity in me, and I’ve remained curious about the subject since. I’m eager to read more, and to learn more. Each time I learn about a strand of these subjects, I feel a rush, and when I read these subjects to search for my answers, irrespective of whether I find them or not, I feel at peace for having tried.

That’s been recalibrating for me. I no longer desire to form judgment on subject-matter, or on human beings, or anything really based on secondary views or hearsay, or on first impressions. I’d just like to remain open-minded and curious, and form opinions that reflect my true beliefs, rather than being guided by anything else. And I’d like to do that all the time.

I anticipate this will be difficult, but the path of learning that this year set me off on as a result of this conscious choice I made has been immense. It has led me to discover my likes and dislikes in a way that I don’t think any other choice has – and for that, I remain grateful.

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