Simply Asking...Why?

Jan 9, 2019

I’ll never forget my freshman year Philosophy final exam.I had studied multiple days for hours into the night refreshing my memory of all of the philosophers, theories and principles we had covered in the course. I just knew I was prepared to ace the class with this final test.On the big day, I sat anxiously awaiting that piece of paper with complicated questions beckoning my lengthy, well-informed answers. My professor sat at his desk at the front of the classroom and announced to the class, “please pull out a few blank sheets of paper and a pencil, and place them in front of you on your desk.” The class took on a rushed, loud murmur then quickly returned back to total silence. Confused, I glanced over to my neighbor as the professor took out a marker and scribbled one word on the whiteboard. He sat back down and said “You have 90 minutes. Please begin.”The word…

“WHAT DO YOU MEAN WHY??? Why what? Why who?” I asked myself as I heard my classmates begin to diligently write their answers. I began recalling the philosophers, the principles and theories, and the details there between. I thought to myself, “I should know which philosopher asked this, and thus, the correlating principle and theory.” I couldn’t for the life of me narrow in on the right answer. So I picked up my pencil and began nervously writing everything I could remember. A little over a third of the way into the exam, my fingers were aching from my steady blast of words to paper. I peered around the room to shockingly witness a few of my classmates stand and hand over their completed exam to the professor.

“How are they done?,” I asked myself. “HOW???

I returned to my exam and continued to shuffle into words the theories and principles that I had learned. Twenty minutes remained until I had to turn in my exam. Seriously, there was no way humanly possible to write down everything I had learned in my Freshman Philosophy class within the allotted time. I dropped my pencil to recover my cramping hand and do some quick stretches.I looked up at my professor who had completed grading his other class’ exam. In the haze illuminated behind my professor’s head sat the word he had written. And just like a lightbulb that you invision flickering on when you finally understand the meaning of something—the light glowed for me.

I began adding to my final words and flipped over to the last empty sheet I had. I then wrote my final answer. Reluctantly, I turned in every sheet that I had written on and walked out of the classroom.The rest of the day I was in a state of confusion. The next morning, our grades were posted. Fearfully, I opened the link to my final class grade. A 97 radiantly beamed with the same very light I saw the day before when the question my professor had proposed finally clicked. I had aced the final exam, my first ever Philosophy course and perhaps more importantly, I had learned a very valuable life lesson.My answer that the professor accepted was….

So, when it comes to the things you most desire in life, the healthy habits that you crave to pick up and maintain, the passions that give you purpose yet have been sitting on the back burner for far too long, the special people that deserve your time and attention, the self growth and self care that you know you deserve and everything else that you have ever felt the magnetic pull towards…I ask you,


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