The Oxford Dictionary defines curiosity as the desire to know or learn something some being as stubborn as I am, I want to know all and learn new things every day. We can want to know everything and these days we can, it’s in the palm of our hands and it’s accessible 24/7. But knowing what friends, family and strangers are doing throughout their day doesn’t make me curious.
I’ve always had a thought in my mind, I work in hospitality so I see people come and go, all day every day. The ones who stand out are our elderly, those who have seen an entire lifetime before me, the people who witnessed a completely different life to what we live now. No social media, no mobile phones, no wifi (I couldn’t do it either) but they have the experience none of us knows about.
A personal experience I have is an average conversation that turned into what seemed to be the most eye-opening conversation I’ve ever had. It was a Monday morning at work and I was having breakfast. I noticed an elderly couple next to me, and me being curious I started a general conversation and told them I’ve always been interested in history and I wanted to hear their experiences!
The lady turned to me and said “My darling boy, everything was different”. Shook and intrigued I started asking questions such as how did you guys meet, what year was it, what was happening at the time? The man giggled and explained he met her working on Sydney Harbour as a ferry driver in the 70’s and explained the exact moment they met. “It was sunset and I was on my last trip across the harbour when we crossed paths. It was just like in a movie, the harbour bridge in the background and her hair flowing. I’ve never seen anything more beautiful and even to this day I see that young lady at sunset”. My heart melted. The conversation continued and from that day I was nothing but curious to learn the stories and experiences from our elderly.
I guess what I’m trying to point out about curiosity, it took that one conversation to become intrigued. Still today, I serve elderly their coffees and the questions come to mind and I start making up scenarios because they’ve seen, heard and experienced things I will never do myself.