I don’t know if I just watched too many episodes of Jeopardy yesterday or if I’m shook after discovering the true difference between yams and sweet potatoes but I am all in the feels today and I can’t stop questioning curiosity. “Curiosity killed the cat,” a phrase to caution against getting involved in people’s affairs to avoid getting into trouble.
Life is within this curiosity. Being inquisitive is how we develop into our true selves and live our life as it was meant to be.
As we grow up we are taught how to act and even how to think. We adapt many of our parents beliefs never questioning what may not make sense.
I was a product of my parents. I was religious because my mom was and I attended church with her (almost) every sunday. I spent 9 years going to bible camp and went on many other church sponsored trips. I was confirmed and continued to attend youth group every wednesday until my junior year.
I was always the one who would ask the tough questions about religion and it would bother me if things didn’t seem to line up. I understand that religion is different for everyone but I’ll quickly explain why I chose to explore myself outside of the Christian church. To start, I will say that missionaries and the history of Christianity never really sat right with me. We don’t need one world religion and forcing people to believe one thing just goes against everything I believe in. The way some denominations choose to ignore certain parts of the bible never really added up to me. Like hell is real but God will forgive you of your sins and God loves everyone, even if they don’t love him. So who the hell goes to hell? And if my religion says I’m going to heaven but another person’s says that I’m going to hell, what happens?
Growing up I was told that God has a plan for us and he is with us in each life event and each day. When a tragedy struck me my freshman year of high school, however, I noticed the plan start to change. It became God putting us on earth with certain intentions but then simply acting as an observer and confidant. It felt as though people wanted to see God as doing all of the good in our life but when something bad happens He has nothing to do with it. It felt too convenient and too easy. I struggled with this for a few years. Asked numerous people and looked to various different bible passages searching for something to finally answer the inconsistencies. My junior year of high school was a breaking point for me, I began to feel so frustrated with Christian values. On paper it sounds great; spread respect and love and always be kind but it was in execution that it fell short for me. I know some truly amazing people from church but I also know some amazing people who aren’t necessarily religiously affiliated. And, honestly, I started to feel the most hostility while in my church. As I began going to less events people started acting differently towards me and almost grew angry. I wanted to distance myself to ask questions and explore myself and this reaction really made me realize that I was making the right decision. I currently feel that far too many people use religion to excuse ‘unChristian’ or ‘wrong’ things that they may do. Like, “Yes, I’ve messed up but it’s okay because God will forgive me and I’ll try to be better” In my opinion, many people really hide behind religion and use it as a way to make them feel better about themselves. I know, you’re probably thinking how cynical am I? But as long as I am pursuing what I want and what I believe and I am doing my best to be the most respectful and kind person I can be, isn’t that what we should both want?
But it wasn’t just religion that shaped me, it was also political values. I grew up with a conservative father and honestly, was entirely ignorant for the majority of my life (I like to think I’m little less ignorant now). My senior year of high school I engaged in many heated and important conversations about a wide array of topics. In these, I LISTENED. Thinking critically about what other people were saying to me has changed me as a human being. My world expanded and I felt almost ashamed of how much time I had spent just repeating what my parents said and being what I felt society expected me to be. I became aware of just how freaking privileged I was. Finally opening your eyes and seeing white privilege/white supremacy, ahhhh thats a game changer. So, I continued my journey of listening and speaking. I became politically active for the first time in my life. I protested and I voiced my opinions. I grew. I became a better person and discovered another part of myself.
Curiosity is what can lead us on a journey of self discovery, even if it gets us into trouble sometimes. Nows where you’re going to think to yourself, “this girl is like 7 half bubbles off plumb.” So if curiosity killed the cat, at least the cat was on a path of discovery, asking questions and exploring the world for itself. This doesn’t mean you have to throw caution to the wind necessarily but I do think we all owe it to ourselves to find who we truly are; and if that means you’re religious or not, that’s okay.
Curiosity doesn’t have to be huge, scary questions but it can be having an intense google hunt for the truth of if yams and sweet potatoes are different. Or seeking to understand if whipped cream is whipped in the can or if the pressure whips it as it dispenses the whip cream. These are very small things but as I found myself having these discussions over the past week, I thought to myself how beautiful these small questions can be and how asking them sparked conversation and laughter. Curiosity is how we advance as a society. Never shy away from asking the hard questions or even the small ones that may seem unimportant. Life is within this curiosity. Who would you be if society wasn’t telling you who you had to be?