Book Title: In the Curious City
Author: Stephen Erutor-Pat
Publisher: CoachInFocus Resource Planet
Year of publication: 2016
Reviewer: Tony Okuyeme
he greatest invention in the world”, notes American inventor and businessman, Thomas Edison, “is the mind of a child and every mind is born with the instinct of curiosity.”
Also, renowned German-born theoretical physicist, Albert Einstein, notes that “Curiosity has its own reason for existing. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
This is the focus of book written by Stephen Erutor-Pat and curiously titled In the Curious City. This 72-page book published under the Motivated & Driven Series, the author notes, “is a summer when every young mind should explore the world”, stressing that …“In the Curious City… wisdom begins in Wonder.”
He however added that “Answers only change the world when the right questions are asked.” Divided into six chapters with an introduction, this ‘larger than its frame’ work is a must read for anyone eager to explore or question everything for the advancement of knowledge and discovery.
In the introduction, the author presents his thoughts, and tells of the inspiring power of a girl who is trapped in her father’s house, situated in the middle of a thick forest and was firmly secured every night with a heavy stone, such that no one could neither come in nor go out. But curious leads her to know new things, to meet great people, and opened her to exciting world of opportunities.
Chapter one titled “The Curious Cat”, the author provides different definitions of ‘Curiosity. Quoting from Wikipedia, he states: “Curiosity is a quality related to inquisitive thinking such as exploration, investigation, and learning, evident by observation in human and many animal species…”
On his part, he defines curiosity as “the quest for new ideas and information, a strong desire to question things until understood. It is a hunger to explore and delight in discovery.” According to him, “when we are curious, we approach the world with a child-like habit of poking and prodding and asking questions. We are attracted to new experiences. Rather than pursuing an agenda or a desired set of answers, we follow our question where they lead.
“And the exciting thing is that you do not need all the answers at once, you just need to get one answer after another, satisfy one curiosity after another and you are well on your way to fascinating discoveries.”
In this 21st century…, Africa, he says, is in dire need of deep thinkers, people who will go after knowledge with a club, stressing that “power goes to the continent or country that has greater knowledge. This is also true of individuals. This is why countries like America, Japan, China, India, the UK, and so many others are powerful.”
Chapter two, as the title suggests, focuses on “What Curiosity Does To You”. According to the author, curiosity promotes intelligence, awakens the mind to new ideas, perspectives, as well as makes one more positive among other things.
In Chapter three, the author urges the reader “Explore: Question Everything”, and never quit until you have satisfied your curiosity. In this chapter, the author also writes on the power of observation, highlighting the contributions the contributions of the Wright Brothers, Isaac Newton to science and knowledge.
Chapter four is titled “Discovering Your Spark; Burn Up Some Curiosity”. Here he opens with a quotes by James Stephens and Dorothy Parker, which states respectively that: “Curiosity will conquer far more than bravery will”; and that “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”
He however notes that you must believe in yourself, stressing that “until you are successful inside, you cannot be successful on the outside. And that is why wealth is not defined by what a man has physically but by the quality of his thoughts. This is why this book is written, to help you see yourself and the world differently.
In this chapter, the author also offers insight into how to develop a questioning mind. These include acknowledge that you don’t know; seek to clarify thoughts; learn how to listen; and mingle with those who know more than you.
“The Lead of Curiosity: What Education Really Is” is the title of chapter five, while the “Epilogue: Impression is never the goal is the focus of chapter six. How to develop your curiosity; replace fear of the unknown with curiosity; write, put your thoughts and ideas on paper; be tolerant and admit when you are wrong; become an expert in something; learn to learn and do; and don’t take things for granted are some the areas the ways to develop your curiosity, according to the author.
How the author has managed to say so much in this small book is no doubt, ‘curious’. This is a compelling and inspiring book.
Stephen Erutor-Pat is the founder and president of SoarSTARS Club, an NGO with a mission to bring out the best in every young star.
He is a passionate motivational speaker, a writer and a strong believer in the Great New Nigeria. He strongly believes in change and that Nigeria will lead the world if her youths (her future) can but rise up, sharpen their skills, develop their talents and pursue knowledge with a club.