This I Believe – The Power of Discovery

When we were young, the world around us seemed filled with magic and wonder. From the moment we are born, we examine and familiarize ourselves with our surroundings, but there’s always something just out of our reach.

What’s beyond that hill?

How far does the horizon go?

Why does the Sun fall and bring the Moon up in exchange?

These types of questions often led to many sleepless nights when I was younger, old enough that these thoughts intrigued me, but still inexperienced enough to not quite understand them.  As a child, I used to sift through books filled with facts and statistics.  Some would introduce me to Newton’s laws of gravity, others to the world record for longest tongue, all piqued my interests and helped me learn about the world around me.

It wasn’t always just facts and figures, but also the culture that fed my curious wonderings.  I’d often ask my dad about the movies he liked and the music he listened to.  My interest in these forms of media grew with every AC/DC track he recommended and with every exciting fight scene he described in Star Wars.  I would read up on these forms of media and the impact they had on generations before me, and from there, I discovered more movies, more music.  Through research at the library and questions to my family, I learned more and more each day.  Many of these discoveries helped morph me into my own person.  Time revealed what I liked, what I disliked and even the beginning of what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I felt like a scientist, always on the brink of that epiphany to a burning question, some about the world of science, some about myself and the things I came to value.

However, that mysticism has faced adversity in recent times.

With the increasing availability of the internet, nearly any question my little mind concocted was answered at the click of a mouse.  No longer were my questions on the solar system answered through hours of flipping pages in my large informational texts, but through Google.  My intrigue in movies and other media would falter when I saw the negative reception from the critics and the bickering in forum chat rooms.  Old films and games that enticed me could be quickly researched and forgotten.  Everything was pointed out to me and that magic of finding something new for the first time had disappeared, its impact diminished.  No longer did I feel like a scientist making a major discovery, but an office worker being given specific directions, never to stray from my initial path.  A large fish trapped in a small pond, where everything had been explored and nothing was left to discover.

However, it was another discovery that changed my perspective.

As I got older, the questions I asked became more and more complex.  How did the universe come into being?  Is there an end to the universe?  Through the internet, I was able to dig deep into these inquiries and educate myself on more than I thought previously possible.  I also came to find such thought-provoking questions that no one – not even scientists – had found answers to yet.  These unanswerable questions fascinated me, and their seeming lack of a definitive answer made them more fun to ponder over and research.  I was also able to discover new music, new games and new movies that I came to enjoy and love, and I looked more deeply into those as well.  By finding information on who had been involved, the purpose behind each musical piece or the goal of a game designer, I was able to enrich myself in the tales of their experiences.  I had escaped my small pond into a much larger river, then into an ocean with a wealth of knowledge to explore that seems endless.

It was only after this that I realized the only limits holding me back from continuing my journey of discovery was myself.  The ultimate discovery.  One that had opened up so many paths for me.  There was no longer any sort of boundary, only those that I had placed for myself.

New discoveries don’t have to ever end.  There will always be questions left unanswered, stones left unturned in the pursuit of knowledge and culture.  And they will always have an impact, whether it be on you, a community or even the whole world – someone will feel that impact.  They can help guide you through life, or just act as a fun time to explore.  Never though, are they worthless.  That is the real power of discoveries.


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4 thoughts on “This I Believe – The Power of Discovery

  1. Dear Spencer,
    I appreciated the personal additions to your story. I feel as though, because you made it so personal and used tons of examples from your own life it made it really easy to connect to! As I was reading I could actually picture everything that you were describing, for example when you talked about the sleepless nights as a child, I could picture myself as you. I also really liked your syntax when you used the three questions in the beginning of your blog!
    One thing I would like to see more of is the metaphors you used, they added a nice addition in the overall unifying affect of the story and provided a clear sense of imagery. If you had continued to use your fish metaphors throughout the entire paragraph the effect would have been that much more.
    Overall i thought your blog was amazing and powerful, the language used was above and beyond and added a higher level to the blog. I look forward to reading more of your blogs!

    1. Dear Alexis,

      I’m glad you enjoyed my piece and to hear that my personal examples were able to strengthen the writing. It’s always appreciated to hear feedback from others. In regards to the metaphors, they did end up being more of a late addition and I hadn’t tried to implement them earlier on. Looking back now, having more of a plan would help make my use of metaphors flow better and seem more natural. Thank you for bringing that up though, as I wish to make my writing as clean and consistent as I can.

      Again, thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my blog! I’ll try and take your advice and kind words to help me improve in the future.


  2. Dear Spencer,

    This is so beautifully written! As I was reading it I found myself loving your voice in this piece and the formatting is amazing as well. The quote/picture that you chose works so well with your piece and just sums up the entire piece in a line. I know you aren’t the most confident with your writing but this piece really shows the talent and amazing style your writing has!

    It was very hard to find any criticism for this piece but one thing I noticed is that quite a few of your sentences use the same sentence structure. Adding in a bit more variety of sentences would help give this piece that little extra push.

    I really, really love this piece! Keep up the good work! I can’t wait to read more.


    1. Dear Amy,

      Thank you for the kind words! They mean a lot to me as I know how experienced a writer you are. Also, I’m glad you pointed out my sentence structure, as it is something I’ve always found myself struggling with when I write without much forethought and I hope to improve on it throughout the rest of the year.

      Thanks again though for reading my blog and sharing your feedback. I will try and take it into account for my future entries.


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