I’m a morbidly curious guy, especially when it comes to books, and I mean morbidly. To give you an idea of just how curious; by age nine, after going through all the old newspapers in the house (at least half a dozen times each), all the children encyclopedias in the house – about 6 of them – (timeless times each), not to mention the mountains of novels that we had in the house (mine and my parents’ included) – some of those novels included the ones my mum forbade me from reading because I was too young (case in point; Toads for Supper by Chukwuemeka Ike, Forest of a Thousand Daemons, The Lion & The Jewel by Wole Soyinka, Things fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, John Milton’s Paradise Lost etc. You get the idea); I also managed to uncover and finish my mum’s copy of Every Woman. By age thirteen I had gone through (even though I couldn’t appreciate a lot of its parts) my mum’s two copies of The Oxford Anthology of Literature, if you’ve seen those books, they are humongous. My claims might be hard to believe, but then most of you guys reading this have known me for a few years and when you really think about it, there have been too many signs you would have noticed to indicate I’m saying the truth.
Anyway, enough about me tooting my own horn; that was just to give you guys a background. Much older now I’m able to put my curiosity under check….on most days…and when I haven’t, I’ve read/seen some things I can’t unread or forget. Therein lies the problem, not all knowledge should be sought. It sounds weird I know, especially if you’ve been told all your life to continually seek knowledge. Let me give an example, I wanted to do a post on the highly technologically advanced sex trade in the country and naturally I did my research. I learned things that with the benefit of hindsight I now know I would have been perfectly fine not knowing; at all, and after a lot of thought I decided to spike the article. Let me sum it up by saying it’s a dark dirty world out there and I stained my white rabbit’s tail getting in.
“But I don’t want to go among mad people” Alice remarked
“Oh you can’t help that” said the cat “We’re all mad here, I’m mad you’re mad”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice
“You must be, or you wouldn’t have come here”
Lewis Carroll “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”
Switch “Alice” with “Ariel” and you know exactly how I felt during the days I did my research. There was a lot of shocking madness to wade through. (I also need to ask; does anyone else think Alice in Wonder-land is not conducive for children reading? This is just me but even at my present age that story still freaks me the hell out).
Being curious and seeking knowledge has never been a bad thing; I guess it’s what kind of knowledge you seek and just how far you allow your curiosity to take you that determine how deep you go and whether you’ll ever be able to get out. I for instance will never be able to look at most university girls the same way again because of some of the things I learned. Hell I developed trust issues after that experience (not life changing, but just enough to make me even more cynical of people than I already was). On the plus side it helped me appreciate the importance of taking everything to God – women included – (y’all can laugh but people walk around with a lot of scary shi* inside them)
Has this quenched my desire to know? No. But this experience has taught me that there are times when it’s better to unlook, no matter how tantalizing it seems. For some people it has changed them (for better or worse), for some others it has killed them or saved their lives.
They say no knowledge is wasted, but some doors should be left unopened.