CURIOSITY – THE MOTHER OF DISCOVERY



Outline: Introduction – we owe our food and drink to curiosity – the sea-another field of human curiosity – education system – a spur to curiosity.

Curiosity, so the saying goes, killed a cat, and a cat has nine lives! But the cat’s curiosity, to the best of my knowledge, has never mothered any discoveries. But human curiosity is quite different and has led to countless valuable discoveries.

Consider, for instance, the things we eat and the things we drink today. To satisfy our hunger, we have a wide variety of palatable and nutritious cereals, an infinite variety of delicious fruits, an abundance of fish, flesh and fowl to suit every taste. So also to quench our thirst we have, apart from the life-giving water, a host of drinks like milk, tea and coffee, not to speak of heady wines. All these we consume with pleasure and relish. But do we pause to think of their history?

Man was curious about the use of different kinds of leaves. Just consider how many different-kinds of leaves he plucked, dried and brewed before he carve upon the plant, which today provides us with refreshing cup of tea. How many different-kinds of beans were dried, roasted and ground before he discovered the coffee and the cocoa plants! Similar was the story of cereals, fruits, vegetables, flesh, fish and fowl, insatiable curiosity bringing in its wake a process of trial and error which never ceased till a useful discovery was made.

To turn to another field of human curiosity-the sea. Undoubtedly, the sea-boundless, fathomless and mysterious-had a curious fascination for our early ancestors. We can imagine them standing on the seahorse, wondering what there was on the other side of the water. As the years rolled on other curiosity grew stronger until at last they were emboldened to risk their lives and sail on the high seas in vessels which, compared with the mighty modern liners, were mere eggshells. Those were the days of the intrepid navigators like Columbus, Magellan, Vasco-da-Gama and Drake. These daring mariners brought to light the New World and other lands and dimes with peoples and cultures till then unknown.


The mother of all invention, namely curiosity should be kept alight as it were all the time. The effort of the education system among others should be to keep the students asking questions, burning with zeal to discover.