We told you the story of Sandra Day O’Connor sending her grandchildren a box of dead cicadas she had picked up during their surreal, creepy once-in-a-decade-and-a-half emergence.
Why did she do that?
“One of the most important things to me is that my children and grandchildren are curious,” she explained. “Because if you’re not curious, you’re not smart.”
We don’t have control over what kind of brain our kids were born with. We don’t even really control what kind of college they get into. Are they a math kid or an artist? Right brained or left brained? That’s not up to us.
But what we can influence is whether they’re curious. We can encourage this instinct—asking them questions and rewarding them for asking their own. We can cultivate the instinct until it becomes a personality trait—finding all sorts of interesting things and showing them to our kids. And we can demonstrate it—pouring fuel on the sparks of curiosity they exhibit by engaging with the things we’re curious about too.
We can’t make them a specific kind of genius. But we can make them smart…by showing them how to be curious.