Do I examine my life enough?

Paper Art: Elsa Mora

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Do I Examine My Life Enough?
Remember when you were little and you felt like you might explode because you had so many questions? (Why is the sky blue? Why are zebras striped? How come I can't have another Popsicle?) And remember how good that felt—to find the world so fascinating that you had to learn, this second and in great detail, exactly how it worked? How did we lose touch with that desire to ask, ask, ask? Was it when we became busy, distracted, overwhelmed grown-ups, feigning expertise, acting like we know everything all the time?

Know everything? Were we even listening in Intro to Philosophy? Did we miss the part where Socrates, who supposedly said, "I know that I know nothing," developed an entire method of figuring out stuff based entirely on inquiry? And that all knowledge exists precisely because people have, persistently and for centuries, asked tons and tons of questions?

Have we established that questions are marvelous, momentous things? If so, can we agree that asking ourselves the right ones can have life-altering effects? Because have you ever noticed how questions prevent us from settling for less than we deserve? That asking ourselves "Could it be better?" is a great way to make things, well, a whole lot better? That a bunch of our breakthroughs, triumphs and joys occurred when we asked a few big, bold, paradigm-shifting questions? Don't we owe it to ourselves—don't we deserve—to live an examined life? Can it be said that asking questions is what keeps us honest, drives us to aim higher—and is the very thing that makes us human?

In a word? Yes. No question about it.
Katie Arnold-Ratliff
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