Shades of Interesting
Websters English Dictionary defines interesting as follows:
Attracting your attention and making you want to learn more about something or to be involved in something: not dull or boring.
If we read between the lines of the outlined definition, we infer we already must have interest in something in order for a particular item that relates to the thing in question to justifiably pique our interest. Say you read a novel by Jane Austen and find it interesting. Your interest can be piqued when you discover some other novel penned by Jane Austen. Your discovery of Jane Austen? Outcome of an interest in novels. But how and when you discovered novels or your first foray into Jane Austen? Could be chance, could be peer influence, could be direction by parents, teachers, or mentors, typically not by some normative self existing expansion of interest.
The fallout of a focus only on what already is interesting?
Only a person who is perfect at expanding their boundaries can navigate life successfully via focus only on what they already find to be interesting. Who then is capable of such a feat?
One of the benefits of well structured formal education is direction of students to things they might not naturally find interesting, but in hindsight might actually enjoy. Think for instance a foray into literature, history, music, anthropology etc., things that lie at fringes of science, subjects science students might not foray into absent dictates of a formal education system. If we delve within disciplines, we find details of some of the most important concepts can hardly be characterized as interesting, yet can be of extreme importance. It seems clear then that it is possible to focus only on what we already find interesting and miss out on some of the most important concepts or things in our vicinity. What we already find interesting then does not necessarily equate to everything that is of importance.
“Already interesting” likely does not encompass everything that is of importance, as such does not encompass all that is capable of piquing or capturing our interest.
I have adopted a large history book as some sort of lifetime project. Given I write and lecture for a living in the field of Business & Management, I do a lot of reading and writing for a living, as such do not have a lot of time for reading outside of my discipline — I try, however, to get some reading in as much as I am able to manage. The history book in question is over 900 pages, and I am about page 225 or so. Given the book is a lifetime project, at 31 pages per year for the next 25 years, I will have completed the book by the time I turn 70. Given I started reading in late 2015, I already am way ahead of the lifetime reading curve. The point of bringing up the book, which I must say I have found mostly interesting and filled with substantive knowledge?
Sections of the history book I have found boring were boring precisely because there really was not much that was substantive that could be said about the time or the people. In midst of boring, I found some important piece of information — all some sections of history are good for is meaningless intrigue. We are talking intrigue for the sake of intrigue, as opposed to intrigue for some purpose grand or false.
If we keep an open mind, we always have capacity to recharacterize things of importance in which we currently do not have interest as things of interest. Important but not yet discovered then is a different shade of interesting.
Important but not yet discovered is a different shade of interesting.
An open (curious) and wise mind is carousel for ageless, interesting yet to be discovered wisdom.