I don’t agree with this metaphor. Hearing my teacher tell my classmates this when I was younger, I remember being really confused. Partially, it was because I took the metaphor literally, but even when I came to understand it, the way it was used was very inconsistent. In elementary school specifically, for those with a lot to say academically, my teachers would limit their opportunities so that “others have a chance to speak.” For those that didn’t have anything to say, they would normally be “encouraged” to say something. The confusing part was how everyone would often be told to “always be curious,” but simultaneously be told how “curiosity killed the cat” if you were asking too many questions.
The topic of curiosity/ asking questions is often suppressed and subtly looked down upon whether it’s self conflicting or the judgment of society. As a student now, I find asking questions can be difficult, especially when I completely don’t understand a topic. Being confused is one thing, but the hardest part is figuring out how to put the question into words. It’s like you have so many questions and words bombarding your head, yet your mind is blank at the same time. The only questions you can ask is “how?” or “why?” When this happens, it’s easy to be hesitant to ask anything because you don’t even know what to ask.
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A great representation of society’s relationship towards curiosity and acknowledgement is illustrated in the poem Ghost Prisoner by Heid Erdrich. The poem talks in third person where the prisoner’s experience, the main point of view, with the government differs from their actions that they claim to be doing in the name of freedom. The problem is that society passively participates despite being aware that prisoners in the poem are being brutally treated. However, the situation in the end is disregarded because it doesn’t affect them personally.
Failure to have acknowledgement towards one’s surroundings can lead to society’s corruption.
In the poem, it is shown how society tries to live with as little conflict as possible by turning a blind eye towards what does not affect them, where the poem mentions the mindset of the people as “we do not want to know what it took.” Concurrently, the people justify their ignorance through the mindset how “we do not speak ill of the dead.”
An example of where a situation like this has occurred was the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, where tens of millions of people have died from it. During this time, a lot of misinformation was created on how the disease spread, and everyone avoided the situation as a whole. Like in the poem “Ghost Prisoner,” failure to have acknowledgment towards one’s surroundings lead the disease to continue spreading. As a result, international organizations like “ACT UP” were created with the motive to find a cure for AIDS, spread awareness, and provide help. To bring attention to the epidemic, AIDS activists commonly used the slogan “silence = death,” which can be seen in Keith Haring’s AIDS Poster for a call to action.
“Negligence and ignorance killed the cat”
If I could change the metaphor “curiosity killed the cat,” I would replace curiosity with negligence and ignorance. Even though to some extent curiosity can be considered “bad” because it could lead to the truth one might not want to know, I don’t think this metaphor is completely true. Ultimately, only through curiosity and acknowledgment, can you gain experience and grow as a person. Negligence will only get you so far until you have to face the initial problem.
I’m a procrastinator…
I’ve found to just tell myself that you just have to start the assignment. Most of the time for me, procrastination occurs when I’m not sure how to do something, where I just don’t start it at all until I’m forced to (deadlines). In other words, I have trouble finding the time to do something, until I have to find time. When I procrastinate, in the end, EVERYTIME I wish that I’ve started sooner.
Spirited away is a Japanese animated film by Studio Ghibli. The film starts off with the main character Chihiro upset having to move away from her friends and school. Studio Ghibli does very well in portraying feelings of a ten year old in showing visible signs of worry and feeling selfish. Throughout the movie, Chihiro’s curiosity and acknowledgment allows her to meet her end goal. Others may argue how “curiosity killed the cat,” which led to the initial problem of the film. Although, only through her continuing curiosity and acknowledgment of the problem, was she able to develop as a character and solve the “problem.” In life, running into problems is inevitable, and delaying the problem would only make it worse.