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Elan Mizhiritsky

Mr. McKenna
1/13/15
Period 5

Does Wisdom Begin By Wondering?


The ability to question separates us from any other species. Questioning anything and
everything inherently makes us human. From the moment we are able to speak, we have been
trained to ask questions. It is almost as if this skill is ingrained into the fabric of our DNA. We
begin questioning on the most basic of level, something so silly as asking our mom for a cookie
and it develops over time into higher order thinking. In school we are trained to always ask how
and why something is the way it is. At some point, life itself becomes a question. At any given
moment, we may think to ourselves, what is the purpose of life, or why am I here?
Interests and choices, questions and ideas, innovations and discoveries, are all very
humane subjects. But what makes these concepts humane? Interests have brought our race to
quantum leap in the technological field, especially if you look back at our species
accomplishments over the last hundred years. Questions have enlightened us to see different
perspectives and inspired us to strive for greatness. I believe that asking, trying, and interests
exercise your mind and results in a better, more promising, future for each person.
The practice of questioning and philosophy originates all the way back to the beginning
of civilization itself. Socrates, a Classical Greek philosopher, known as the founding father of
philosophy, gave birth to the concept of questioning, which has caused a ripple effect over
thousands of years. Today, our species always craves to know why or why not. However, there
was a point in time where a certain portion of the population almost lost its questioning skills.
Following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, a period of intellectual darkness occurred

in Europe, known as the Dark Ages. For hundreds of years, this specific population had lost its
ability to think and reason, questioning any authority became the least of their priorities. Their
primal instincts took over, and no technological progress was made. Europe was metaphorically
left in the dust by other civilizations, and a large majority of the reason was their inability to
question, think, and reason. It was not until The Renaissance and the Enlightenment that the
world really rediscovered the power of questioning.
Unlike Isaac Newton, I was not inspired by something falling on my head. The thought of
why something has mass, and why there is gravity, has been in my head for as long as I could
remember. In eighth grade, my school requires us to take a tech class and my tech teacher asked
me to join the robotics club after school. As a 13 year old, my teacher had already seen
something deep within me, which was the reason why he asked. During my first encounter of
with club, I felt extremely nervous and questioned his choice of asking me to join. The club was
filled with juniors and seniors, who were at least four or five years older than me, which made
the club even more intimidating. After our first competition, which was over the course of six
weeks, they had accepted me as one of their own. However, it was not with its difficult moments.
As I disassembled an old robot one day, I questioned myself as to if it was really worth joining
this club.
I continued to ask these questions, and thoughts continued to litter my mind. Questions
have and always will be in our lives, mending and innovating our culture. Next time that there is
something you dont understand, dont just let it fly by your head, search for the answer because
you never know what you could discover.