After my run in with the youth from the workshop, I started remembering what I was like, in the context of school, and things organized in that manner (field trips, religious excursions, etc). I was initially full of wonder when I first arrived on North American shores, but slowly, it seems that my sense of wonder was chipped away without me noticing.
If I lay the blame on the education system of the time, I can recall maybe two, at most three teachers, that inspired wonder and curiosity, over a span of 7 years of school. I recall maybe 2 from my time in university, one was a new professor, so I assume not as jaded, and the other deeply passionate about her subject matter, and it was contagious.
Otherwise, I was in what was a state that seemed the default, for me and most of my peers. I was allowed to ask questions, in class, but I don't think I was taught how to ask questions. It was usually a passive instruction, "does anyone have any questions" and "Are you sure you don't have any questions?".
Somehow, the apathetic manner in which questions are solicited from the student body by teachers, alongside puberty and a burning teenage desire to protect one-self from embarrassment and mockery, meant that brave, confident peers were in short order. Which meant, I didn't surround myself with people smarter than me, who asked the right questions, and were adamant about fully satisfying their curiosity.
I feel as if I witnessed a little of that with the youth I was with. The air was heavy with that thing that doesn't allow people to taste life, that thing that extinguishes the parts of life that require risk. The parts of life that aren't physical risk, the parts that may wound our pride, ego, social standing. The parts that leverage your curiosity, and have you saying "ok, what's the worse that could happen"
What is that called? What is the opposite of curiosity? What do you call something that shuts a door to life?