I'm not sure how staring developed, but it seems to be part of human nature. Here in India, I have gotten plenty of stares. I stick out; I have blond hair, blue eyes, and pale skin. I am not wearing the traditional clothes. The staring doesn't offend me, to me it simply expresses curiosity. In the United States, Ms. Manners tell us it is rude to stare. But why? It makes my day when the little kids are running around and all the sudden they see me. They stop in their tracks, jaws drop (literally), and stare. My response is to smile and wave. To me, if I ignore them or frown at them I give the wrong first impression. Why not show them we are the same on the inside? We tend to be scared of the unfamiliar and but why not seize the opportunity to settle those fears? Curiosity reflects their eagerness to learn, to gain knowledge and I want to oblige.
Doesn't medicine revolve around curiosity at its core? Diagnosing a symptom or illness is really just a process of trying to figure out why. Why is the patient is having headaches... is it a migraine? meningitis? vision problems? cancer? stress? Today we had several patients who wanted an answer to this question. As health care professionals, we try to answer this why question the best we can so we can go to the next step: fixing it! Day in and day out this is what we do, it's the bread and butter of medicine. Curiosity is an innate trait we all share and we should embrace it. That is how discoveries are made and society advances. Let's advance together, from the daily wage worker to the college graduate to the Nobel Peace Prize winner.
On another note, I went out to town for the first today. I went with the Professor and got to try on a few sarees. We also stopped for some fresh veggies, it was a full rainbow of colors.