The Big Question

KidSpirit Online is a free teen magazine & website for kids created by and for young people to tackle life’s big questions together. The Big Question section in each issue of KidSpirit Magazine contains essays on an idea central to the theme of each issue. Enjoy the “Big Questions” here and be sure to submit your poetry, artwork and writing for future issues of KidSpirit.

What is Our Relationship to the Earth?

by Maria Christian

Late April, 2010. I am lying on my back. We are so high up in the mountains that the snow is nowhere near melting. Back home the temperature is in the low 80s. Up above us the stars are blinking, cold and clear, in the black sky. I am 10 years old. As my teacher

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100 Trillion Connections: How Does Language Change Our Perception of Reality?

by Anya Dunaif

Imagine describing the world using just five colors, or explaining a series of occurrences in a system where time moves vertically as opposed to horizontally. How different would the world look if you had always known colors or time to be such? Would your perception be altered? Would only the way in which you describe

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What is the Role of Ethics in the Quest for Discovery and Progress?

by Gemma Laurence

Before he went to college, my brother told my great-aunt, “I’m going to become an astrophysicist.” She gave him a quizzical expression. “Really? Now how will that help people?” He seemed a bit miffed. “How could astrophysics not help people? Exploring outer space broadens our perspectives on life! Through scientific innovations we increase human knowledge!

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Are Symbols the Basis of Human Thought?

by Sharon Lin

In today’s world, it is impossible to look at anything without being influenced by symbols. We have been conditioned from birth to recognize and interpret the constant bombardment of visual and cultural stimuli. From the universal smiley face and heart, to letters and numbers, humans have successfully created a system so remarkably efficient that even

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Can We Know and Control Our Psyche?

by Noah Totsline

The psyche is highly integral to who we are as individuals and how we function in the world over the course of our lives. It can be defined as the human soul, mind, spirit or inner being. But is it something we can control? Can humans truly gain complete control over our own thought processes,

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Does Truth Have Inherent Value?

by Sofiy Inck

A lot of people think that “truth” is black and white, but upon closer examination, I have begun to believe the nature of truth is much more complicated. Recently, I was sitting in Greek class having one of the most thought-provoking and frustrating debates I had ever had. First, because thinking of the idea of

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What is the Essence of Beauty?

by Nimai Agarwal

Humans have always searched for the elusive epitome of beauty. It has evolved over time, and continues to express itself in new forms. There are many kinds of beauty, and many aspects. There is beauty for the eyes, the ears, the tongue… but all these forms of beauty are unified by one thing which never

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Is Gender Central to Sense of Self?

by Vidushi Sharma and Zachary Kligler


How Does Time Shape Our View of Heroes?

by Khalid Husain

Often heroes are seen as the harbingers of crucial change in societies. While heroes may have a profound impact on society, the converse is also possible: that society alters and shapes heroes in turn. These changes may be larger than first realized, sometimes completely morphing a hero’s core ideals into something negative. Other times, heroes

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Does Experience Shape Our Understanding of God?

by Elly Goetz

The idea of God is different for everyone and is possibly many things even to one person. We all have different ideas of what and who God is. Some people do not believe in God at all, while others believe in many gods. Others believe that God infinitely shapes their lives and their afterlives. Others look

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