Human beings are inherently curious. In other words, it is part of human nature to ask questions. Many of the questions we ask on a daily basis have answers: What time is it? What’s for dinner? Are we there yet?
Then, there are the world’s unanswerable questions. These are the queries that will likely remain unexplainable until humans cease to exist. Regardless of whether your questions have answers or not, it is our innate curiosity that makes us human. It is this trait that drives us to test our limits, explore unfamiliar places and try new things.
But what do I mean by unanswerable questions? Instinctively, our brains revert to the questions people ask in their pursuit to discovering the truths of mankind. When did time begin? Is there life after death? Where does a thought go when it’s forgotten? Your brain will surely start to spin if you spend more than five minutes ruminating on an answer to even one of the aforementioned questions.
Rather than exploring these deeply provocative, contemplative mysteries, what about examining the questions that I consider equally, if not more, essential to discovering who you are at the core? These are debates that even former President, Barack Obama seriously contemplates.
Do you consider eyebrows facial hair? Do prison buses have emergency exits? Does the person flying in the middle seat get both armrests? Sure, the question of whether freedom truly exists is important but how the hell can we tackle questions like that if we can’t decide what came first, the chicken or the egg?
Obama thinks the person in the middle seat “has to choose one [armrest].” What does this say about the former U.S. president? Maybe that he is fair, reasonable, even tense. I would argue that, of the three seat options (window, middle, and aisle), the middle spot is the least favourable. In the scenario where the individual had no choice but to take the middle seat, shouldn’t they be compensated with both armrests? This is my opinion, so what does it say about me? Maybe that I’m compromising, understanding, even a push-over.
The way someone answers questions like these can say a lot about who they are innately. Another example of this is the highly debated question surrounding what should be poured first into your bowl: the cereal or the milk. What seems like a harmless breakfast choice can apparently indicate serial killer behaviours. Although a person’s psychopathic tendencies cannot yet be determined by the invigorating act of making cereal, you will be surprised to know what has been proven. Your bathroom trip just became a lot more economical as studies have illustrated a correlation between the way in which you hang your toilet paper and your earning potential. If you are a roll-over kind of fellow (leaving the loose end away from the wall), you are more assertive, likely an overachiever, and are more likely to be in a leadership role than a roller-under; these individuals are more agreeable, laid-back and empathic. If you don’t really give a damn, well, that one is self-explanatory; you aim to minimize conflict and value flexibility. Interestingly, The Guardian revealed a U.S. survey where 73% of people who earn under $20,000 roll under, while 60% of those earning over $50,000 roll over. This is not to say that if tomorrow you magically become a roller-over, $50,000 will mysteriously appear in your bank account, nor is this survey one that meets scientific psychology study standards but it is most definitely food for thought for the next time you visit the loo.
Now, it has been scientifically proven that the egg did in fact come first (due to two birds that weren’t exactly chickens laying a chicken egg) but who’s to say a hot dog isn’t a sandwich, or that cereal isn’t soup? These stimulating life questions are for you to judge, ponder and respond to. Just remember that if you ever have the choice, roll your toilet paper over- you might make a few extra bucks.