Lessons From Foxes

At what age do we lose our curiousity? I wondered that this morning as I was re-taught a lesson in the practicality of being curious.

I would say that we don’t lose it as much as it’s trained out of us. Tired parents who don’t have the energy for all their children’s questions. Teachers in schools who want children to be quiet and let them teach what they’ve planned to teach. Peer-pressure to fit in with everybody else when growing up. Even in our adult jobs. There is an overwhelming culture of discouraging curiousity. More often than not, the misfits in society are the ones who keep their curiousity. Outsiders rejected by others, or choosing to reject them. Quiet people who focused more on their interests than other people.

Being a misfit myself, I’m grateful I was able to hold onto a lot of my curiousity, but I have lost some, which brings me back to this morning.

Thank you Mr. Fox, for the mess

Having recently moved to a new place, we’re still getting ourselves set up here. Our new local council is big on recycling, so we took the opportunity to request a food bin to separate it from the general waste. When the bin arrived, I put it in it’s place and didn’t give it a second thought. Last night foxes came, barking and screeching and doing whatever they do. They hung around near our house for longer than I thought was usual, but I dismissed it at the time. This morning I discovered what they had been hanging around for. They’d knocked over the new food bin and thrown the rubbish everywhere. Ugh, it was horrible. On the way to clean up the mess, we talked about how to prevent it happening again, but didn’t settle on a good idea. Once we’d cleaned up, I was moving the handle around to carry the bin when I noticed that the handle also locked it. Bugger. See, this is one of the ways that staying curious would have been useful. When I was younger, I would always play with the moving parts of every new thing I encountered, no matter what it was. Hold onto your curiousity, nurture it and feed it. Or else you might find yourself scraping rotten banana skins off the floor in the cold morning air!

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