This I Believe

Katherine - Wayne, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 6, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: question
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

The art of questioning seems to have disappeared. I feel like the more that is bombarded at us, the less we question the validity. The world has gotten lazy, and instead of filtering what we believe, we just accept it; thinking about what we’re told takes too much time, it doesn’t fit in with our busy schedules.

But how can I continue to absorb everything that’s being thrown at me before understanding where it comes from? I apparently have too much time on my hands.

I feel as though I’m reading Wikipedia, where anybody can add to the information provided. It all sounds good, but can it all really be true?

Perhaps the first time I even thought to ask questions was during my World Cultures class freshmen year in high school. Finally I was learning about places other than the United States. Societies other than mine.

Wait, women are still being oppressed? People don’t have the right to speak freely? Slavery still exists? How could I have simply accepted that the world was okay? The problems of humanity just soared right by me. I never even thought to ask about the other side.

So I began examining things more closely, beginning with matters closer to home and eventually leading up to more complex issues. Why does the kind of music you listen to define who you are? Why does everything either prevent or give you cancer? Why is religion, an institution that is supposed to provide solidarity, the cause of so much harm and disunity?

And all I really found was that most people either had not really thought about it or had the same questions that I had. It is amazing to me that a nation full of numerous bright minds can overlook so many topics and take them at face value. And I want to ask, at this day and age, with all that is available to us, how can this still be possible?