Curiosity Kills Boredom

Around here, however, we don't look backwards 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. --Walt Disney

Curiosity, as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary , can be a "a desire to learn or know more about something" (OED, n. 3.d.).

What is driving and pushing you right now?

What is motivating you to plan and prepare for something that is still 5 months away?

For me, it’s curiosity. It is the idea that last summer is not the best we could do at our camp. It is the idea that anything worth doing can be improved upon.

Author Rob Bell illustrates this well in his book Velvet Elvis :

“In my basement, behind some bikes and suitcases and boxes, sits a Velvet Elvis. A genuine, bought-by-the-side-of-the-road Velvet Elvis.  And to say that this painting captures The King in all his glory would be an understatement. It’s not the young Elvis—the thin one with the slicked-back hair in those black-and-white concert photos in which he is playing a guitar that’s not plugged in. And it’s not the old Elvis—the big one in the shiny cape singing to old women in Hawaii.

It’s the one with the touch of blue in the hair; the tall, white collar that suggests one of those polyester jumpsuits.

But I think the best part of my Velvet Elvis is the lower left-hand corner, where the artist simply wrote a capital "R" and then a period.


Because when you’re this good, you don’t even have to write your whole name.

But what if, when he was done with this masterpiece, R. had announced there was no more need for anyone to paint, because he had just painted the ultimate painting? What if R. had held a press conference, unveiled his painting, and then called on all painters everywhere to put down their brushes, insisting that since he had painted the ultimate painting, there was simply no need for any of them to continue their work?

We would say that R. had lost his mind. We say this because we instinctively understand that art has to, in some way, keep going.  Keep exploring, keep arranging, keep shaping and forming and bringing in new perspectives.

For me, that is what this time of year is all about; exploring, arranging, shaping and forming new ideas, perspectives, and resources.

It’s the curiosity of what ‘can be’ that pushes me from day to day to day until I finally get to see the fruit of all that planning.

This week, allow curiosity to push you to examine everything, make the needed changes, and lead you down new paths.

Cory Harrison has directed resident camp programs for more than 10 years with The Salvation Army and the YMCA. Currently, he is the Director of the YMCA Camp Benson in Northwest, IL. He is a life-long camper, an avid reader, and daily cereal eater. Reach him via Facebook: