On the Importance of Questions

Image Credit: Margarita Beatrice

The day we, mankind, started asking questions was the day we started being most frustrated with ourselves. We couldn’t answer to the perennial problem of cancer, we couldn’t find the mechanism creating our dreams every night, and we couldn’t answer many of our own queries about the farthest reaches of the universe. The questions we pondered throughout the ages puzzled us, nevertheless, they have also helped us greatly.

All my years in grade school, the teachers would always be reminding us to start essays with hooks, like a question or an anecdote. Writing an article about questions, you might probably be wondering why I didn’t start that way. Well, why should I? Why does anyone do anything? Why does anyone ask questions? I must admit, asking and wondering and all the thinking that comes with all of it becomes quite frustrating sometimes. Many a day I have questions that I can’t find the answers to, or it has an answer yet I cannot understand the answer. For example, what’s in between gas molecules? Are lone atoms moving through space? And how exactly does the brain control our body movements? Or how did people discover black holes? How are scientists sure about things they cannot even see, such as the inside of the Earth?

Questions are like pesky little bugs. They never run out and they’re everywhere, but the rest of the world can’t go on without them. After all, it was a question about the apple and the tree that prompted Isaac Newton to discover the laws of gravity. It was a question regarding how to communicate faster that prompted people to invent the radio and later on, the cellphones in our hands. Questions help out every one; if we never asked what an electric fan was for, we’d never find out how to turn it on and wave away the unflinchingly awful Philippine heat (unless you live somewhere else, then I guess you can’t relate, sadly).

Sometimes, questions can break your brain. I speak from experience. However, they’re still probably one of the most important aspects of human life on earth. Without them, we never could have pushed our capabilities to the limits: to be able to fly airplanes in the sky, rockets in space, and submarines hundreds of meters deep into the great blue.

So, the next time a question pops up in your head, whether about people or places or animals or allegories, try to find the answer. You’d be able to find out more about the world, enrich your knowledge about things both mundane and critical, and help your own brain think a little harder. Our brains are there for us to use, so why not do that using one of the most simple and accessible ways imaginable: questions.