This I Believe

Leslie - Decatur, Georgia
Entered on March 2, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65

This I Believe

I believe in asking questions. Not just the obvious ones like, what=s your name, where=s the restroom and, does God exist. Rather, I believe in asking the questions that no one else wants to ask. These questions always require an answer that is painfully obvious B to everyone but me that is.

Picture it. I am sitting in a computer class, trying to wrap my head around yet another concept that I need in order to do my job. Unfortunately, one allegedly simple yet vital piece of information just won=t B well compute. Do I sail along, not understanding, and reassure myself that maybe, against all evidence to the contrary, I won=t need to know it anyway. Or do I hope against hope that some other brave soul will step forward and ask the question. My nature, made up of equal parts curiosity and obsession, won=t allow the former, and the latter, well it almost never happens. Public speaking is one of the top ten human fears, and I suspect public questioning lies not far behind. So I sheepishly raise my hand and make my query, insecure in the knowledge that I have sealed my intellectual fate. I might as well put on a T-shirt that says AI am not WITH stupid, I AM stupid.@

What seems like hours pass while those who have observed my moment of shame recover from shock. In the meantime, the speaker gives me my answer and I quietly slink back in my seat B praying that the audience will mercifully forget the humiliating scene they have just witnessed.

Now you may ask why I continue to voluntarily insert myself into such situations B which I do on a regular basis. The key is that my quest to question is not only about getting the answers. It is about helping humanity. Really. You see, not long ago I made a startling discovery. I found that I am quite often not the only person who needs the answers to these seemingly simple questions. I began noticing that frequently, after I have asked the question that no one else will, someone in the room invariably comes up to me wearing the face of one who has found a free lemonade stand in the middle of the desert, and offers the following sentiment: AI am SO glad you asked that question. I was too embarrassed to do it. Thank you so much.@ This has happened often enough to make me not only less reluctant to ask the questions no one else will, it has made this my mission in life.

You see, I may not be able to solve the problems of homelessness, global warming or middle aged spread. I certainly will not find a cure for AIDS or cancer. And baking a flaky pie crust continues to elude me. But by asking the questions no one else will, I believe I am providing a truly useful service. As a sort of Amiddle man@ of information, I am making available a multitude of answers to those truly in need. And saving many a tortured soul from public ridicule that might scar them for life. I accept the fact that this not entirely selfless endeavor is unlikely to place me on the shortlist for sainthood. But who doesn=t like coming to the rescue of someone in distress? And besides, it=s a lot easier than operating a lemonade stand in middle of the dessert.

Oh and by the way, the bathroom is the second door on your left. You are most welcome.