It all started when I scraped my knuckles on the door jamb while carrying the laundry basket. I said to myself out loud, “I wonder how many times I’ll do that before I realize this basket and my hands don’t fit through most doorways?”
That got me wondering what other people wonder about, so being the crack investigative reporter I am, I starting asking. Just when I was set to hear, “I wonder how I always choose the slow line at the grocery store," a 30-year-old person paused and said, “I wonder what happens when we die. I wonder if we really do see people who died before us."
A 10-year-old girl wonders if her dog is going to get well. A teenage boy wonders if he’ll ever see his dad again. A 21-year-old athlete wonders if her parents are proud of her and if they are, why. She also wonders if she’ll always be able to eat anything and as much as she wants without gaining weight.
College students I asked wondered where they would be in a few years and if they’ll be in the field their degrees are in. They say they wonder if they’ll find the perfect mate and how many children they’ll have. One senior wonders if he should go ahead and give match.com a try. A 68-year-old woman wonders if anyone would be willing to end her life if she becomes totally incapacitated. A 60-year-old man wonders how many more marathons he’ll be able to run.
A woman, 45, says she has wondered for years about infinity. “I can’t wrap my brain around it," she said. “And of course I wonder how my daughters will turn out." A 40-year-old woman wonders if she and her fiance of 15 years will finally get married. A nervous guy, 23, wonders if he picked the right engagement ring, and more importantly he wonders if she will say “yes” on Valentine’s Day.
Some of the things we wonder have been with us since childhood. I have wondered since age 13 if they’ll find the causes and cures for all types of cancer. I wonder what my granddaughters will experience.
Every time I sit in a plane on the tarmac waiting in a long line of planes to take off, I wonder what the Wright brothers would think of air (and space) travel today. I wonder if it would be impossible to run a political campaign on candidates’ strengths, not the opponents’ weaknesses. I also wonder why people who constantly bad-mouth Wichita and Kansas don’t move somewhere else.
After talking to people who probably wondered where I came up with this question, I realized we wonder about a lot of things every day.
In time, some of the questions are answered, but some we’ll just have to continue to wonder about.
What do you wonder?