Let’s talk about some of the provocative questions I came up with in class, along with my classmates in our discussion group.


Why is “normal” something we strive for? – We all know for a fact that every single human being on this earth is unique in their own ways, so does “normal” even exist? Where did this idea come from, and why do so many people want to be it? If each and every one of us is different, trying to be normal is like fighting a losing battle.


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How did societal class come to be? – Who decided what kinds of people would be above/below other types of people? Even when Columbus and his crew arrived on the new world, even when the Arawaks were willing to live in peace and share, they had a certain need to have power and superiority over them. Have we ever been able to see others as equals? Why has this idea carried on with us?


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Does everything happen for a reason? – I believe so. But this is a very subjective questions since everyone has different beliefs. I think even if you feel the worst has happened to you, you will still  grow from that experience. Whatever happens, it was meant to be, and you can learn from your past to help your future. Trust the course that life decides to take you on.


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Why has the world come to such a state where some people have given up on happiness?  – But to understand this question, we need to understand how happiness is achieved. Although we have the usual “talk about your feelings” and “focus on the positives,” it’s not as simple as that. Happiness means something different to everyone, and even if those tips are useful, cannot be applied to everyone. It’s just sad that we live in a world where happiness has become rare, and a lot of people have accepted that they aren’t going to be happy. And I think as times have evolved, our standards have gotten higher – therefore making it harder to achieve true happiness. We constantly want more, believing we don’t have enough even if we do. Yet happiness is an inner state of being, and cannot be truly achieved with tangible, materialistic things.


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Why does religion exist? – Although we have all the biblical stories, no one can really know for sure how religion first started and what its real purpose is. While everyone has their own beliefs (I do too), I still question how and why it exists. Did we keep it around so we could be less confused about the meaning of life? Do we want a specific group of people to have the same values? Yet religion can also pit people against each other, and that’s what makes it contradictory.


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What is love? – Why do we need it? Do we need it? Is it part of human nature to desire affection? It’s very hard to understand love, because it does so many things. It (metaphorically) blinds people, it makes us do crazy things, it withstands distance and time and is ever-forgiving. It also comes in so many different forms that you can’t give it just one definition. I think it may be one of the most powerful things in the world, however.


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Why do we blame society when we are society? – I’ve heard countless times “society has…” or “society has put stereotypes on…” etc. But why are making it “society’s” fault when we are the ones that make up society? Is it because we don’t want to put the blame on ourselves? Or is it because when you understand that you are society, the realization that you may be able to make a difference is overwhelming.


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Provocative questions like these force us to delve deeper into the greater meaning of things. Through asking these, you can also learn a lot about yourself and what you really care about. For example, I’ve learned that I like to ask questions which involve humanity as a whole, not just individuals. I like to think of questions which everyone can relate to in some way, giving more opportunities for answers from all different points of view – and that’s something which can enhance the learning experience altogether.

Although these questions are intimidating, they are also exciting! Asking questions like these not only lets us think about possible answers, but in special cases. may even ignite something in us that makes us want to pursue it, and that could end up making a big difference in the world. Everyone will approach these questions in different ways, as the questions themselves will be suited to the asker. You can draw ideas from your past experiences, as well as what you have observed. People who may be able to help you are the people who might have made you think of the questions, the ones who inspired you to delve deeper. But when it really comes down to it, you are the only one who can satisfy yourself.

Just one thing about these questions – they’re unanswerable. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look for answers! It’s good to ponder and search for answers to your own questions. You may find an answer that fulfills what you were looking for, although it may not be the definitive answer for everyone who asked that question. But these questions can kickstart a journey of self-discovery, and that’s the real benefit. Persisting to find an answer will keep you motivated in all areas of your life, too. And if/when you find an answer that at least satisfies you, you will be able to see how much you’ve grown and learned since when you first asked that question.

Unanswered questions are far less
dangerous than unquestioned answers.