by Jyoti Chauhan

Whilst I was teaching one day, a two year old was in the playground and picked up a pebble. As he did it I could see the cogs whirring in his head and I could tell he was five seconds away from putting it in his mouth so I shouted to him “Ian no! Don’t do that! ” He proceeded to look at me, then looked at the pebble and…obviously shoved it in his mouth. (Ian is healthy and well don’t worry –  no Ian’s were harmed in the making of this story) Children are born curious. It’s how they learn and how they discover the world around them – for some reason we tend to lose a little bit of this wonder as we grow older. As we get more responsibility in our lives, with mortgages, jobs, rent and kids – our minds are occupied with obligations and pressure.

Curiosity is so important  because no matter how old we get –  there is always more to learn. To learn about other cultures, other countries, other food and other people. To learn more about a job you love, to learn a new skill or a new language. Especially now that knowledge is so easy to come by, information is at our fingertips. A lot of questions we have can be answered by a quick internet search. If we have the means to travel we can purchase tickets by the click of a button.

Things that can’t be answered by the internet are the questions we have about ourselves and  the questions we have about the people in our lives – peoples lives and peoples stories. I come from a family of immigrants and I’m lucky that my family’s story is so interesting. As I’ve grown older I’ve had so many amazing conversations with my family about their lives and their experiences. They have been intriguing and fascinating conversations which have made me so proud and even more curious about my heritage.

Curiosity paired with conversation is the catalyst for many great ideas; especially within the creative industry. Various movies, tv shows and documentaries have been made because people have had interest in showcasing other human being’s stories and experiences. This is so important in creating empathy and diverse thought. To create an equal society in which people are kind, fair, thoughtful and have open minds.

Reading is also a fantastic way to satisfy the curiosities we have about the world or even amplify them. One of the first books I read when I was younger was ‘Journey to the River Sea’ – although I didn’t realise it then I’m now convinced it ignited my passion for travelling. It spoke about the wonders of travelling to new destinations and the excitement of adventure and that’s what I’ve sought after my entire life and continue to do. Books are such a powerful tool in creating and discovering new worlds and new experiences that we grow to be curious about. We are very lucky to have many different tools at our disposal that can educate us in whatever we may be curious about. We have never been in a better place to try and learn more about the world around us and to truly make a difference.

Everyone has their own story and if you’re curious about other people then the Conversation Salons are a great place to exchange ideas, experiences and thoughts. To learn about different backgrounds, different realities and different perspectives. Are you curious?

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Read more: Conversation In A Polarised World