This I Believe

Julian - Concord, Massachusetts
Entered on February 6, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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The Importance of Questioning

I walk down the halls filled with blue and white linoleum squares and enter my math classroom. We are covering imaginary numbers; I sit down, and we students start talking. I raise my hand to ask a question, and I suddenly understand. Questioning is something I do everyday. In English class, I sometimes ask what a word means. Sometimes I even ask a question in basketball practice because I am confused about where to go in a play we are running. If I were to not question, I would not learn anything. I believe that questioning is one of the great skills in life. It can sometimes be difficult to question, but it is important. Without questioning, we would live in a world where everyone is the same.

When I was younger I watched a show called “The Fairly Odd Parents”. In one episode, the main character – Timmy – wished that everyone were the same. After a few days of everyone being the same, he realized that everyone being the same was not good. Even though “The Fairly Odd Parents” is a cartoon, it holds messages for people. A book we read in my English class that holds the same message as in this one episode is Fahrenheit 451. In this book, Ray Bradbury – the author – writes about a world where most everybody is the same, (p. 58) “Surely you remember the boy in your own school class who was exceptionally ‘bright,’ did most of the reciting and answering while the others sat like so many leaden idols, hating him. And wasn’t it this bright boy you selected for beatings and tortures after hours? Of course it was. We must all be alike.” Most of the people in this book are the same because they never question anything. They always accept answers without questioning.

I encourage all of us to question more. By questioning, you might influence someone – the way that Clarisse McClellan, a 17 year old girl in Fahrenheit 451 who is disliked because she questions, influenced Guy Montag, the main character who realizes where his city is heading. Clarisse influenced Montag by asking him questions that he had never thought about. Through considering these questions, he realizes that his community is in ruin. As you influence people, you hope they will ask questions and venture into the unknown. As people ask questions, they become more independent and find themselves.