Advocating for curiosity can be a challenge in a busy culture obsessed with answers. And yet, where do answers live? Answer: In the land of curiosity.

It is therefore with great pleasure that I share some of my favourite quotes specifically on curiosity. It is clear that humanity has been thinking about it since the dawn of recorded history. Indeed, these quotes are in themselves gateways to thousands of years of thinking.

With that in mind, I have added some questions after each quote that I, at the very least, feel called to ponder.

Albert Einstein

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.

  • Q: Why are humans curious?
  • Q: What purpose might it serve?
  • Q: Does it need to serve a purpose?
  • Q: How does curiosity sustain itself?

Samuel Johnson

Curiosity is, in great and generous minds, the first passion and the last.

  • Q: What makes curiosity so common amongst great minds?
  • Q: Can curiosity be considered a virtue?

Walt Disney Company

Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.

  • Q: What motivates humans to keep moving forward and exploring new possibilities?
  • Q: How does curiosity lead to innovation and change?

Oscar Wilde

The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing.

  • Q: What might we be curious about?
  • Q: What is truly worth knowing?
  • Q: How do we value curiosity?

Eleanor Roosevelt

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.

  • Q: What role does curiosity play in child and adult development?
  • Q: How can curiosity be nurtured?

Tove Jansson

It is simply this: do not tire, never lose interest, never grow indifferent—lose your invaluable curiosity and you let yourself die. It’s as simple as that.

  • Q: What are the consequences of losing one’s curiosity?
  • Q: How does curiosity contribute to a sense of being alive?

Roy T. Bennett

Remember that things are not always as they appear to be… Curiosity creates possibilities and opportunities.

  • Q: What realities are hidden that curiosity might unveil?
  • Q: How might curiosity help us reveal opportunities that aren’t immediately apparent?

Graham Swift

Children, be curious. Nothing is worse (I know it) than when curiosity stops. Nothing is more repressive than the repression of curiosity. Curiosity begets love. It weds us to the world. It’s part of our perverse, madcap love for this impossible planet we inhabit. People die when curiosity goes. People have to find out, people have to know.

  • Q: Why is the cessation of curiosity detrimental to individuals and society?
  • Q: How does curiosity connect us emotionally to the world around us?

Roger Ebert

Socrates told us, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” I think he’s calling for curiosity, more than knowledge. In every human society at all times and at all levels, the curious are at the leading edge.

  • Q: What does it mean to live an examined life?
  • Q: How does curiosity serve as a tool for leading a fulfilling life?

Philo of Alexandria

Learning is by nature curiosity… prying into everything, reluctant to leave anything, material or immaterial, unexplained.

  • Q: In what ways does the desire to learn drive us to question our world?
  • Q: Why is it important to strive for explanations in all aspects of life?