It’s Thursday morning, and I am sitting among intellectuals. We are talking. I’m enjoying this interaction.
I have spent most of my professional life working at colleges and universities. This way of earning a living started a long time ago, back when I had beautiful, dark hair and none of this middle-aged spread. My point is this—I’ve been an educator for what seems like a lifetime. It has been a lifetime, actually.
I’ve had opportunities to do things away from academe. And I have even taken advantage of some of these chances. For example, I was the director of a non-profit museum for a time and I worked in the corporate world as a “Creative Content Consultant,” a euphemism is ever there was one. Basically, I did research and writing for a large, fortune-500 company.
I disliked the museum job and hated the corporate gig.
One of the reasons I’m drawn to universities is because I have always loved learning and being among learners and the curious. I have discovered that one of the secrets to living a happy life is cultivating curiosity. Curiosity is the mind wanting to eat. The body needs to be fed, so it makes sense that the intellect would similarly require nutrition on a regular basis. Plus, asking questions is natural and healthy; it’s innate and self-preservative. If those who once lived in caves many eons ago hadn’t been curious problem solvers, it’s likely none of us would be around today. Human beings could have entirely disappeared had our ancient ancestors not pursued answers to all sorts of interesting questions.
I think I’d kill myself if I had to be surrounded by the braindead and incurious all day long. If this were the case, I’m afraid I would eventually end up like them. That’s because stupidity is one of the most contagious diseases of all. It breaks down the carrier’s immune system and destroys its host from the inside out. Who wants to live with such a condition? Certainly not me. I’d rather hang myself than deteriorate to that point.
The incurious end up dying early, and after breathing their last breath, their bodies totally decompose in a matter of minutes. This happens because they are hollow. Their meager remnants are easily dispersed by the slightest breeze.