An Anecdote from Kindergarten & Skepticism

I vividly remember the incident; it haunts me to this very day. Mrs. Brush was teaching us how to do patterns with shapes. She would say, “Circle, square, circle, square, circle, what?”, and the entire class would shout back, “Square!” in gleeful excitement. Meanwhile, I leaned back with crossed arms thinking, ‘Patronizing b*tch.’ Probably something less severe actually.

Anyway, we got our little worksheet full of patterns to complete. My existential epiphany hit me after the second problem. I raised my hand, “What if, Mrs. Brush, the pattern doesn’t repeat? I mean, what if the pattern has not been completely complete. Like ‘circle, square, circle, square, circle… triangle. Then circle, square, circle, square, circle, triangle again? Are we to assume that we’ve been shown the entire pattern. And moreover, who are we to assume that the pattern repeats at all? There is nothing in the directions telling us that we can assume these things. I’m not going to complete any further problems until I am told I can assume these things.” Her face was a bright red.

I was scolded by my parents that night. “Don’t question, don’t object. Just follow the teacher,” my parents told me. ‘But I’m right,’ I silently thought in apparent obedience. Head down, teary eyed, I turned around, and walked shamefully to my room. “But I’m right,” I repeated aloud with my head down, arms hugging my pillow.

I think society has begun to fear authority. Whether it be with trivial subjects like the patters of shapes or with more important subjects like the Iraq War, society must become more skeptical. I am by no means encouraging cynicism, but we’ve turned into a society that does not require proof for our claims.

‘How?’ and ‘why?’ are important questions. Ask them.

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One Response to “An Anecdote from Kindergarten & Skepticism”

  1. According to Accordions Says:

    Maybe humanity lost its curious edge too.

    Why bother “seek the world and its marvels” when one can sit at home, eat, sleep, and be happy?

    Same concept goes with souma. “Why bother be human when we can take a suppressing drug?”

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