curiosity leads to greatness

Ferdinand Feedelbenz was a boy people noticed. It wasn’t that he was noisy. He liked to listen rather than speak. He preferred to ask questions rather than answer them. What was remarkable about Ferdinand Feedelbenz was his curiosity. For Ferdinand wanted to know everything.

‘Why does Aunt Ezra always wear gloves?’ he would ask his parents when they went to visit.

‘Ssh!’ said his father, out of the corner of his mouth.

‘Quiet!’ said his mother, rattling her tea cup.

But Ferdinand liked to ask questions.

‘Why does Uncle Fez have hair growing out of his nose?’ he would ask, his eyes fixed on his uncle’s fuzz.

‘Curiosity killed the cat,’ his father hissed.

‘No,’ said Ferdinand thinking this over. ‘Curiosity leads to Greatness.’

Anna Fienberg, The Magnificent Nose and Other Marvels

I first read The Magnificent Nose and Other Marvels when I was eight or nine. I had borrowed it from the library closest to my home. Some time later, I realized that the Popular bookstore near the library sold it, and asked my mum to buy me a copy, which I have kept to this day.

After first reading this book more than 15 years ago, my 座右铭 (or motto, but motto sounds a little boring) has been ‘curiosity leads to greatness’ ever since. :)


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