Have you ever heard the phrase "Curiosity killed the cat?' I am sure most of us have heard the saying. It is a pretty popular one and is used frequently in our day and age and in days and ages past. What exactly does it mean though? How is it that curiosity killed a cat? And why does it just kill the cats? I mean, dang, poor kitties.
I couldn't help but reflect on this saying as I watched the current event of the Titan submersible vehicle over the past few days. I think there could be a lesson in this for all of us. Curiosity really can kill not just the cat, but our bodies and more importantly our souls. Curiosity can actually be a sin, and a pretty severe one. It can also lead us into even worse sins and vices as well.
Some of us might find this surprising. It's a recent thought for me. I would have, in the past, considered curiosity a noble pursuit, and by all means, it certainly can be. Like all good things from God, it requires moderation and prudence in it's pursuit. Also the motivation behind the curiosity must be pure and not sought for solicitous purposes.
So, when would curiosity be considered sinful? Well, let's take a look at that.
Curiosity can lead to pursuing knowledge poorly. Is what we are seeking to know, something we should or need to know? I would also add that the risk of knowing could be added into this equation. At what point do the risks associated with the knowledge being sought qualify it as vice and sinful? Why are we seeking such knowledge? Are we seeking knowledge to become spiritually prideful? Do we want this knowledge so we can perform an evil act? Are we becoming slothful and aimless in our pursuit of knowledge by spending hours on social media, Youtube or the internet being led from one thing topic to another that we find interesting and neglecting other important aspects of our lives - like prayer and spiritual pursuits.
I know I find myself falling into some of these categories quite frequently. I can spend way too much time on Youtube looking at content on gardening and decorating. It isn't that these topics are bad or evil, but we need to pursue then moderately and not neglect other aspects of our lives that need our time and attention as well. In these instances curiosity can lead to slothfulness, and unfortunately social media and the internet is designed to do this to us. So, be aware.
I will also admit there are times I seek knowledge on social media about others I really have no need of. This practice can lead to gossip and envy. Both of which are very spiritually dangerous for us. I am sure I'm not the only one out there guilty of looking up people I may not like just to see how they are doing now. It's human nature -right, well it's driven by our fallen human nature. The pursuit of holiness should halt such activity, and that pursuit of holiness can definitely be delayed and thwarted with this type of unhealthy curiosity.
So, how does all of this relate to the Titan submersible craft that took five unfortunate souls 12,500 feet to the ocean floor in pursuit of knowledge of the Titanic shipwreck? Well, I am not so sure, but risking something as precious as life itself, to pursue knowledge and sate curiosity could violate reason and prudence for sure. Was this knowledge necessary for these individuals? What was the motivation behind this adventure? This same reasoning could be applied to many adventures, just as it can be applied to many pursuits and activities.
I'm not saying that it was right or wrong, just something we might want to think about a little more, in all our pursuits of curiosity. Perhaps if we do, we will allow curiosity to move us in a way that leads to holiness and not one that will kill that poor little kitty!