Recently, my wife Sarah and I were watching an old episode of Star Trek, Next Generation. (S2E1 to be exact) The synopsis was that a “Life Form” was curious about humans so it decided the best way to learn was to be conceived, be born, grow up and experience as much of the human experience as possible within 72 hrs. (Man, I forgot how WEIRD this show got!)
In one scene, “Ian” knew something was hot, but touched it anyway in order to experience what it was like to be burned and feel pain. I found myself — lost in thought — thinking that this — THIS right here — was the deepest most genuine example of being curious about life. (Even though it was cheesy as hell.)
To have the desire to experience ALL of life — not just the good, but the painful too — fascinates me. Because anything less wouldn’t truly be the human experience. Anything less, and you’re just a tourist.
I mean, take my love of coffee right? I’ve found myself in cities all over the world hunting down third wave coffee. In doing so, I’ve met people from all walks of life who share the same appreciation. Interestingly, I’ve never met someone who’s explained their interested in coffee by saying,
“Oh yeah, I’m fascinated by coffee, so on all my trips — along with trying to find the best cup — I try to find the cheapest, most average, burnt & over extracted tasting cup of Joe that the majority of this country drinks on a daily basis.”
As much as I love and will continue to search out boutique, hand-crafted… well… ANYTHING, it’s important for me to be reminded — that’s not the entirety of the human coffee experience. I mean, it’s not even remotely close to the majority, it’s a tiny half of a fraction.
Maybe, if one is truly curious about the wold of coffee… there’s a world of bad coffee out there, just waiting to be discovered.
Man, it’s too bad this analogy only works with coffee and not things like other people and their opinions, thoughts, politics or religion… now THAT would be a curious endeavor.
For the curious, I stumbled upon this 3min talk recently by barista champion James Hoffman explaining why only drinking good coffee is actually detrimental to “learning to taste.” I found it fascinating and thought you would too. Enjoy.