Friday, January 22, 2010

"As Soon As We Think We Know Something, Curiosity Begins To Wither" - Dr. Gottlieb

Dr. Dan Gottlieb is a psychologist and family therapist who has worked in the Philadelphia area for over 40 years. In addition to his practice he hosts the award-winning mental health radio program, "Voices in the Family," was a regular columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, has authored 4 books, and lectures nationally on a variety of mental health topics.

Ten years into his practice, thirty years ago, Dr. Gottlieb was in a car accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. It has given him a unique perspective on life and what it means to be human.

He currently posts to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation forum. (He uses voice recognition software that converts speech to text.)

Here's something he wrote a few days ago on a thread about curiosity:
"I have a new person living at my house who has become my teacher. His name is Jake and he is 18 months old and he is curious about everything. Every second of every day he is awake he is curious. Of course it's not Jake, all small children are curious. The brain is naturally curious and once more information.

So what happens to us that curiosity has become so elusive. And that curiosity is often completely absent when we are in the presence of one of the most interesting, complicated, beautiful and unpredictable things on this earth -- a human.

It happened because we think we know. We think we know what the other person wants, thinks, and is going to say next. We think we know their motives and their agendas. What if we were wrong about everything we assume?

When we have these belief systems, we stop learning. Troubles me about all of these biased news stations on either side of the political spectrum. So that people can surround themselves with people who think like they do. That kills curiosity.

As soon as we think we know something -- almost anything, curiosity begins to wither.
The less we know the more curious we become.

As a matter of fact, I was going to change the title after my name on my business card. Instead of Daniel Gottlieb PhD I wanted to write Daniel Gottlieb DNS (don't know s**t)."
________

3 comments:

Perovskia said...

I liked this.

He makes a great point by saying, "...all of these biased news stations on either side of the political spectrum. So that people can surround themselves with people who think like they do. That kills curiosity."

And it doesn't even just apply to news stations, it applies to everyone. We get so comfortable in our settings, that we forget to challenge ourselves and be around new people who challenge us.

Bix said...

I think there's a kernel of truth in most people's arguments.

Leonard said...

LOL, I like that (DNS), and totally true. ;) peace