I roll about in my warm, cosy bed, enjoying the warmth and softness of the silky sheets, barely opening my eyes to the prickly morning sun rays. At the corner of my left eye, I see a white, fluffy figure laying on the floor, motionless.
I open my eyes wider against the piercing sun, an incredible feat on a rainy and cooling morning, but a lot easier with the motivation of finding out what caught my eye just moments before.
As I shift my awareness to the rhythmic, hypnotic sounds of rain drops pitter-pattering on the glass window just above my snug cradle to my vision, allowing my eyes to focus better on my surroundings, I found the culprit that piqued my curiosity in the early morning.
The desire to know, the temptation to unveil what’s underneath the drawn curtains, the interest in a deep topic not easily accessible to everyone – all of which can pose risks or even danger to the seeker.
Ironically, without curiosity, mankind wouldn’t have made inconceivable progress over the centuries and millennia. We wouldn’t be reaping the benefits of the curious minds of our past, inventing what we take for granted today, sometimes sacrificing their lives or that of others in the process.
Without the thirst for knowledge, humans wouldn’t have created language and the means of communication through writing, audio, visuals, experiences – you name it. Curiosity drives most of our day-to-day actions, both indirectly or directly.
We work for our pay cheque because we want to know what we can do with $X in our bank, the feeling of owning that shiny object we so long for, or buy the plane ticket to experience visiting a country to which we’ve never been.
We wake up feeling pumped and motivated to take on the day because we’re genuinely looking forward to what the day ahead holds for us, whether we’ll nail that big client pitch, win the lottery, or just seeing the person who brings a smile to your face just thinking of him or her.
The tiny white figure just lay in the corner of the room, not moving at all, seemingly lifeless, except for what looks like fur swaying in the gentle breeze of the monsoon season. I slowly scanned my surroundings, mindful not to make too abrupt movements while fixating my gaze at the figure at the corners of my eyes.
I gently creep out of my soft quilt and the weirdest thought ran through my mind at such a moment: what an adorable polka-dotted pattern! I brought my attention back to the figure, and realised it moved ever so slightly from just a second ago.
Taken aback and kicking myself up internally for getting distracted by some cutesy polka-dots, I stay absolutely still, not moving even a hair and just observe silently. Just as I’m gaining my composure to move towards the unknown figure, it suddenly flies up and onto the table in one swift motion.
Puzzled and a little unsettled at this point, noting that the nimble and small fluffy thing doesn’t have any eyes, or they don’t like eyes that move at all, I scramble to readjust my bearings again.
Terrified, but also curious of what it really is, I get ready to leap towards it to grab it. Just as I’m about to do that in that very moment, it shifted again, this time softly but almost instantly landing on the marble floor near the room’s entrance. I don’t wait any further and just dash to the door with all my strength, unaware of what lies ahead, but I just have to know.
Do you remember when was the last time something or someone scared you so deep into your bones, but yet there’s this overwhelmingly urge to find out what’s at the end of the tunnel, gnawing at your heart?
Most of us live our lives with little fear or discomfort – that’s a natural response any living being subconsciously gravitate towards. Who wouldn’t want to live without worrying about possibly getting eaten by a lion or having to set up camp at night in the jungle?
If we think about it, though, if the first humans weren’t curious enough to veer further into the wilderness in search of betterment, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Although danger lies ahead, the desire to know the rewards of overcoming the perilous unknown is just too strong for sentient beings – both humans and other living organisms – to resist.
As I slowly looked up, eyes bulging out to get a clear look, I saw her sitting on her favourite bamboo ottoman – Ada. As her smile widen at my apparently tensed up stance, I loosen my muscles and leap into her arms, purring while she strokes my recently trimmed fur from head to tail.
Ada bought a new cat toy for me and it’s clear she wanted to surprise me before I awake. Although I know now that it’s not a prey of sorts and it’s just Ada playing with me to see me chase the ever-elusive fluffy toy out of sport, I love it. Curiosity quickly became playfulness, which intersects with one another, don’t they?
As the day ends, and Ada retires to her bed beside my snug cradle, I wonder about the next curious thing that could pique my interest. Hopefully, soon, or better, just tomorrow.