A wise man told me once that great men talk about ideas, average people talk about events, and low people talk about other people. If you walk backwards down the stairs you’ll make less noise in some stairways. There’s an idea for you…
What drives humanity to find questions to ask? What motivates some of us to examine the laws of nature, to understand the interaction of the building blocks of matter, to predict the grand ballet of galaxies in our universe? Wonder. Science teaches us how to ask the questions, but wonder makes us want to answer them. Find your sense of wonder. Then you’ll start asking questions. Perhaps some of those questions will never be answered in your lifetime, but at least they’re being asked. Who knows? Maybe one day centuries from now that question will be answered and life on our little blue planet will change once again.
Carl Sagan was all about the wonder. I’m reading one of his books, probably one of his last: Demon Haunted World – Science as a candle in the dark. I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone. Carl Sagan was a genius astronomer, but he took his passion for science and focused on popularizing it for the masses. What really pisses me off is that I really want to talk to him, to discuss some of his ideas, but unfortunately one cannot have a coherent conversation with a dead man, unless of course one believes in all that. Another thing that pisses me off is that it seems to me that his life quest – promoting science – seems to have been in vain. Young people here in North America just don’t seem to be interested in learning about the world and the universe around us. I’m not sure where that lack of interest stems from, but it bothers me deeply.
Education is a fundamental part of growth as a human. Learning about physics, chemistry, biology, history (unbiased preferrably) – these are things that allow people to make informed choices. That’s what life’s all about: choices. The more you know about the world the better you’re able to make the right one.
Find your sense of wonder, it will bring life back into your world.