The Joy of Questioning

Kavya ShahDecember 26, 2016Mysteries of the UniverseInterfaith Connections

The ability to question is a power that we all have.

Sometimes I find answers to my questions, but sometimes I don’t. When I was a small child, there were times when my parents told me that there are no answers to certain questions. However, I have learned that even after we know they may not have answers, all questions are worthwhile. They can help us to discover more about our religion, our family, and even ourselves. Therefore I am always on a quest to understand the unknown.

Some children might just forget about difficult questions, but I like to explore the depth of everything and find its essence. My family has always encouraged me to investigate the unknown. I have found that sometimes even my elders are on a quest to find the answers to mysteries.

Our family observes the traditional Hindu rituals and I love questioning them. My grandmother has always been a talkative person and enjoys sharing stories of god or our family. She is very open, which helps me build a strong bond with her.

Once when I was reading the Mahabharata, a Hindu epic that tells us the story of a great war between good (the Pandavas) and evil (the Kauravas), I wanted to know what happens after one dies. I asked my grandmother this question. She told me that god sorts us into heaven or hell based on our karma (the good or bad that we do that shapes our destiny). After asking this question, I felt happy because I had an opportunity to build a close relationship with my grandmother and learn more about my religion.

My grandmother has a habit of saying god’s name before she sleeps. Once I questioned this habit and learned that this has been her practice since she was a girl. She says god’s name because she has faith that he will answer all her prayers.

A question opened up a cupboard of characteristics about my grandmother I did not know earlier. I never knew that she loves being helpful. She does not care about small petty arguments. She loves spending time with friends or a book.

Questions have the power to begin a relationship, spark love, or help you make a new friend. They can not only create a platform for exploration but also build up self-confidence.

An example of this would be questioning scientific phenomenon or other various things around us. Questions help us learn, discover, and understand. If Sir Isaac Newton had not asked, “What pulls the apple to the earth?,” he would have never discovered gravity.

Another instance is when I asked my mom, “What is the logic behind taking five steps back when a black cat cuts through your path?” She was stunned for a moment as she realized that she had just followed this old myth without knowing why. Then I did some research and found out that this practice is based on the belief that witches take the form of cats and while crossing the road they can cast a spell on you when they cross your path!

From this experience I learned that if I want to do something, I can. I love finding things out and feeling happy about my work. I also learned that I love surfing the net, and that investigating simple things can help build up great skill in asking meaningful questions.

If we slow down our pace of life and start enjoying things we have never thought about, I am sure we will start feeling happier. The joy in exploring and answering our questions is indeed special. I believe in questioning everything, as I know every question is worth asking.

Kavya Shah is a 16 year old, with powerful opinions and an inclination towards the literary crafts. She studies at the Riverside School in Ahmedabad, India and loves exploring and unveiling new possibilities and avenues. In her free time, you will find her with her nose in a book, or spending time with those she loves and cares about.