Being the mother of a 7-year-old, I am on constantly answering questions. Sometimes I have the answers and sometimes I don’t, but what I try by best to do is never to reply with “I don’t know”. I will find a book, search the net, or find a friend or family member who may know the answer. In the process of hunting down this information I was able to learn something myself and answer my inquisitive son’s questions.
Now that my son is old enough to accompany me many places without running around and breaking things, I try to expose him to the arts every chance I get. We go to art galleries, plays, and museums. I must admit that sometimes he is less than enthusiastic, but he eventually find something that grabs his attention. He accompanied me to a friend’s art exhibition and discovered that he is a fan of the visual arts. He even keeps a collection of catalogs. Had I not introduced him to the visual arts, he wouldn’t have know how much he would enjoy viewing sculpture, photographs, and painting
What I would like to challenge all of us to do is when we have a question or lingering curiosity about something to not just walk away from it, but to investigate and learn about it. Don’t just get a quick answer, learn enough about it to be able to hold a decent conversation about it. Nothing is more satisfying than being able to contribute to an intelligent conversation. My son’s love of a particular artist lead to his interest in photography and the processes of developing, lighting etc. I can’t tell you how impressed I was to hear my 7-year-old participate in a discussion about the use of filters with a photographer. Although I believe my son is the smartest 7-year-old in the world, he would not know about these things if he wasn’t exposed to them. That exposure can lead in so many directions. Find ways to broaden your horizons. There are so many free opportunities to do so. Peruse your town or state’s websites for cultural events. Find something that you have never done before and give it a chance. If you have children, take them along. There is so much in the media about the younger generations’ lack of direction. We owe it to them to show them the millions of options they have in life.