This I Believe

Amy - Baltimore, Maryland
Entered on May 29, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: question

I need to talk. I have to talk. I can’t stand it when, for some reason, I can’t talk. I answer questions people never actually asked in long rambling speeches, detailed monologues. It doesn’t matter if they asked me about my day, or how I feel, I will tell them, and often in more detail than they ever cared to know. When someone does ask, however, I try to take the time to answer his or her question as well as I can. No question is too bizarre or outlandish for me to not at least pause and consider. I truly believe that little saying that they taught us in 1st grade: I really don’t think there is any such thing as a stupid question.

I believe in asking questions, and I respect people who are unafraid to ask their own. Asking a question can be a traumatic experience, trust me, I know. Raising one’s hand to ask about Gatsby’s motivations is intimidating, when everyone else seems to already know. In my opinion, it takes an act of courage to lay it out in front of an entire class that you don’t know something. It is in our very natures to want to not appear weak, and yet day after day, people put themselves out there and admit to classrooms of people that they don’t understand, that they are lost and confused. And I respect them for that; they are not afraid to appear ignorant or unintelligent in their search for knowledge.

Questions need to be asked, whether they be about Fitzgerald’s novel, photosynthesis, political beliefs, or even God. Blindly following anyone, be it a political leader or a religious leader, seems fundamentally wrong to me. We were given the ability to ask questions, and we should use it. How can anyone claim to support a leader or hold a belief without truly knowing what it means, or why he or she believes in it? I’m not saying that I would verbally attack the pope or anything, but I feel it’s our duty as thinking beings to ask why once in a while. It shocks me that people can simply accept that things are God’s will, and never think twice. I find it just as shocking when there are no questions about evolution. You should have questions; you should want to know why.

Although asking questions is vital, answering them well is just as important. I have written innumerable essays in my school career. Yet the hardest questions I have ever had to answer came not from my English teacher, but from the 6 and 7 year olds at the aftercare where I volunteer. They want to know why about so many things, and I try my best to answer. And when I can’t, I ask them what they think. I believe that asking questions is quite possibly the most important job I will ever have in my life. Though occasionally I wonder why I think that….