I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.
—Agatha Christie (1890–1976) British Novelist, Short-Story Writer, Playwright
There are different kinds of curiosity; one of interest, which causes us to learn that which would be useful to us; and the other of pride, which springs from a desire to know that of which others are ignorant.
—Francois de La Rochefoucauld (1613–80) French Writer
If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.
—Rachel Carson (1907–64) American Naturalist, Science Writer
The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
—Dorothy Parker (1893–1967) American Humorist, Journalist
Curiosity killed the cat.
Curiosity is the lust of the mind.
—Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) English Political Philosopher
A person who is too nice an observer of the business of the crowd, like one who is too curious in observing the labor of bees, will often be stung for his curiosity.
—Alexander Pope (1688–1744) English Poet
To be curious about that which is not one’s concern while still in ignorance of oneself is ridiculous.
—Plato (428 BCE–347 BCE) Ancient Greek Philosopher, Mathematician, Educator
Curiosity is, in great and generous minds, the first passion and the last.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–84) British Essayist
Inquisitive people are the funnels of conversation; they do not take anything for their own use, but merely to pass it on to others.
—Richard Steele (1672–1729) Irish Writer, Politician
Curiosity is free-wheeling intelligence.
—Alistair Cooke (1908–2004) British-American Journalist, Broadcaster
Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–84) British Essayist
Curiosity in children is but an appetite for knowledge. One great reason why children abandon themselves wholly to silly pursuits and trifle away their time insipidly is, because they find their curiosity balked, and their inquiries neglected.
—John Locke (1632–1704) English Philosopher, Physician
We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
—Walt Disney (1901–66) American Entrepreneur
A man should go on living—if only to satisfy his curiosity.
There are two sorts of curiosity—the momentary and the permanent. The momentary is concerned with the odd appearance on the surface of things. The permanent is attracted by the amazing and consecutive life that flows on beneath the surface of things.
—Robert Wilson Lynd (1879–1949) Irish Essayist, Critic
Morality comes with the sad wisdom of age, when the sense of curiosity has withered.
—Graham Greene (1904–91) British Novelist, Playwright, Short Story Writer
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.
—Albert Einstein (1879–1955) German-born Physicist
“Necessity is the mother of invention” is a silly proverb. “Necessity is the mother of futile dodges” is much closer to the truth. The basis of growth of modern invention is science, and science is almost wholly the outgrowth of pleasurable intellectual curiosity.
—Alfred North Whitehead (1861–1947) English Mathematician, Philosopher
The curiosity of an honorable mind willingly rests where the love of truth does not urge it further onward and the love of its neighbor bids it stop.—In other words, it willingly stops at the point where the interests of truth do not beckon it onward, and charity cries “Halt.”
—Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834) English Poet, Literary Critic, Philosopher
Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.
—Carl Sagan (1934–96) American Astronomer
Only barbarians are not curious about where they come from, how they came to be where they are, where they appear to be going, whether they wish to go there, and if so, why, and if not, why not.
—Isaiah Berlin (1907–97) British Liberal Philosopher, Historian
There is no pillow so soft as a clear conscience.
Certainly, Gentlemen, it ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinions high respect; their business unremitted attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasure, his satisfactions, to theirs, and above all, ever, and in all cases, to prefer their interest to his own. But his unbiased opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men living. These he does not derive from your pleasure, no, nor from the law and the Constitution. They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable. Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
—Edmund Burke (1729–97) British Philosopher, Statesman
Go around asking a lot of damn fool questions and taking chances. Only through curiosity can we discover opportunities, and only by gambling can we take advantage of them.
I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.
—Eleanor Roosevelt (1884–1962) American First Lady, Diplomat, Humanitarian
Childhood and genius have the same master-organ in common—inquisitiveness.—Let childhood have its way, and as it began where genius begins, it may find what genius finds.
—Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton (1803–73) British Novelist, Poet, Politician
Cultivate your garden … Do not depend upon teachers to educate you … follow your own bent, pursue your curiosity bravely, express yourself, make your own harmony … In the end, education, like happiness, is individual, and must come to us from life and from ourselves. There is no way; each pilgrim must make his own path. “Happiness,” said Chamfort, “is not easily won; it is hard to find it in ourselves, and impossible to find it elsewhere.”
—William C. Durant (1861–1947) American Industrialist
Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.
—Pierre-Marc-Gaston, duc de Levis
Men are more inclined to ask curious questions, than to obtain necessary instruction.
—Pasquier Quesnel (1634–1719) French Jansenist Theologian