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Elementary

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Everybody failed.


It was a seemingly small, yet surprisingly significant event.


I had studied pretty hard for the test and so I was justifiably prepared for a respectable result. As I took my seat, I remember feeling a desire to “get the show on the road”, confident in all my freshman glory, that I was about to demonstrate my firm grasp of the subject matter. That seemed to be the overall feeling in the room.


Desks cleared, pencils poised, we waited for the handout, anxious to regurgitate the facts so that we could get on with more important things. Instead, we were instructed to take out a blank sheet of paper and informed that this test would consist of only one question. As he scrawled the question on the blackboard, that confident freshman glory was feeling a lot more like naiveté:


“What is the name of the author of the textbook for the course?”


That was the entire test, and that was the test that everybody failed.


I learned one of the most valuable lessons of my life that day as a result of having no idea what the answer to that basic, yet critical question was. I had no idea who it was that I had been granting such unchallenged and absolute authority to. I was merely regurgitating what I had been told, absent curiosity.


Grappling with that particular failure, ignited in me, from that day on, an intention, if I do nothing else, to faithfully investigate—


WHO is telling me what and—WHY.

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