We all know our childhood shapes a significant part of who we are. And it is common sense that what we learned in our early years has a greater impact than what we pick up later. That is the one of the premises of the book "A General Theory of Love."
I was fortunate that my mom handled me the way she did. I was a child of questions. A "why?" child. Why is the wheel round? Why is the car blue? Why why why. When one question is answered I had another. My mom did her best. There are some questions that had no answers and there are some questions that is simply beyond my mom.
So she did the next best thing. She bought me a thick book called "Tell Me Why?" Why is the sky blue? Why are flowers brightly coloured? And I devoured it like how I devoured chocolate. And then she bought more. I had quite a few of those thick compendiums.
My interest in reading waned when I went to primary school. (I read the "Tell Me Whys" when I was in kindergarten) When I need to read to study, it kills off interest. But I guess this is why I prefer non-fiction to fiction.
Years later, my friend and mentor introduced me to a few books that rekindled my interest in books. He got me to read "The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature" by Matt Ridley. Then "Guns, Germs and Steel" by Jared Diamond. I continue to read books like this that helps me make sense of the world around me as well as the world inside me.
These books to me are the adult versions of "Tell Me Why." They may not be totally correct but it is up to critically examine what they present so we get a better grasp of what we know.
We may not be able to know everything. But to stop the quest of knowledge just because of that is just like saying we cannot explore the universe so we don't even take the first step into space.
Knowing may not make a difference if we don't apply what we know - just like Benjamin the donkey in "Animal Farm" but not knowing means we don't even know where to start making a difference.