Curiosity: Sharpness and Blunt

By wabinab | life_lessons | 9 May 2022

Previously, we wrote about "Constraints Innovate", about how constraints help encourages creativity and innovation. Today, we will talk about similar topic, in the field of "life", where you might not want to limit yourself. It's not exactly related to constraints, but the opposite of limitations.

In life, we faces lots of opportunities. Some we pursue, some we let go. It's worth noting, don't always let go when someone stops you. Most probably that "someone" are your parents; but it could be your guardians or others too! For example, you might want to try bungee jumping, but considering the danger that lies ahead, your parents strongly encourages you not to, for the sake of your life. As a benevolent child, you might stop. Once or twice, it isn't a problem. Many times, or almost all, you lose your "sharpness".

When you're young, you're born with "sharpness". You're curious with everything. Just sit there and look at how a child acts: does he/she feels yucky standing in muddy water? No. He/she might not know that it's muddy and dirty; their parents impose their thoughts on the child that it's dirty and yucky. Not a big deal: muddy water might made the (young) child fell sick, and preventing him/her from entering before he/she have sufficiently strong antibodies is a reasonable act. But as parents impose more and more of their "blunted" thoughts on the child, it's like hitting the "sharpness" with a hammer and blunt their child's curiosity, etc. The result, a timid child that's scared of everything, and one literally means, EVERYTHING! The first reaction to a new event/object? Rejection rather than curious of "what if I accept?"

Psychologically, even without external intervention, the older we get, the blunter we get. Blunter in the good sense, is being more mature. Blunter in the bad sense? Scared of everything, loses curiosity. For example, in the good sense: when you're young and dating, or a young couple, married or not, they're crazy, they're hot, they're lively. As they get older, their metabolism slows, and a more mature, long-living but slow, love, falls in. No more being crazy: their gradually degrading bodies (you don't think humans live forever, eh) can't maintain that rate of metabolism anymore if they were to live longer. It's also true, that extreme excitement cannot last long. Even if it lasts, you probably get bored after a while; and to get excited again, you need something that's more extreme than extreme excitement, which probably isn't achievable. Hence, something slow but long lasting works better.

Note: one (of many) reason(s) reptile live longer is reduced mating rate. (linked research paper, check it out!)

And blunter in the bad sense? Regret! For one with sufficient sharpness and you apply your bluntness on him/her, you deprive him/her from being sharp for the rest of their lives. After a person loses his/her curiosity, you cannot except him/her to really go out again; it takes more effort to sharpen a blade than to blunt it. Furthermore, a degraded body cannot supports the sharpness compared to a still growing/optimal body. You expect to go parachuting after you're 90 years old? Or even after you retired? Check with the doctor whether you still can do so... Not all activities are suitable for old ages; and without trying it while you're young...

Ok, enough about families. Let's talk about friends. If a friend ever stop you without good will, it's probably due to their jealousy. For you're "sharp" enough to pursue something that their "sharpness" don't allow them; or you have the opportunity to pursue something, and they don't feel fair, as they also would like to do so, but get limited by whoever or whatever reason(s). If you read that emotion communicated invisibly, go ahead and do it. Don't let your friends stop you from doing something unless they're really for your good (like stopping you to kill yourself is for your good, but stopping you to participate in a competition, where the worse case is you came out last in the competition, is not (for your good)).

(rephrased). In general, one vice should not be cured by another. But envy is such a malignant state of mind that the dominance of almost any other quality is to be preferred. He replaces envy with pride, as envy admit one's inferiority, and pride, superiority.

-- The Road to Character, Chapter "self-examination", pg 226, on Samuel Johnson.



While still young, do the things that you can't do while you're old. While you're older and more mature, you lose your sharpness, and things starts to slow down, hence doing something more mellow and slow it is. Pursue while you can; don't let anyone restricts you from doing anything (unless it really hurts yourself, mentally and/or physically, and there's "no way"/very difficult to recover). Other times, you need to fail to success; so go ahead!

(P.S. Speaking of failure, perhaps one will talk about it next time)


(This article is first written on

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Software and ML developer, writer, jack of most trades.


These are totally not related to work. They're mostly related to what's learnt in life. These are the things that one can publicizes.

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