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.

Does Happiness Have a Different Meaning to Each of Us?

by Grace Luckett

My idea of happiness was irreversibly changed at the place where many revelatory life experiences occur: summer camp. When I first arrived at camp, I was nervous but quickly made many friends, all of whom were from different areas of the country and led very different lives. As the weeks went on I became closer with

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Why Do Certain Myths Have Universal Resonance?

by Grace Snarr

Fables and legends have fascinated me ever since I was a little girl. My personal connection to storytelling began when my mother and father put me to sleep every night. They would tuck me in, say prayers with me, and then tell or read a story. I listened intently to the tales of Little Red Riding

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Inked Identity: To What Extent Can We Separate Ourselves from Our Heritage?

by Jung Woo Bae

I have lived in New Zealand for seven years now, though I was born in South Korea. My experiences may resonate with those who also live in a place that is not their country of origin. I feel connected to New Zealand, perhaps because I have lived here since I was very young. I am

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Why Do We Seek Power?

by Zoe Miller

Imagine two kids in a fight at school. You’ve probably seen something like this before; a pair of fourth or fifth graders who have decided words will not work anymore to settle their differences. One has said something that has the other totally steamed in front of all their friends. The victim looks around for support

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When Is It Important to Preserve Boundaries?

by Gracie Griffin

The streets of Stockholm shone in the rain. Mist wrapped itself around the cobblestones. As much as I had been looking forward to our trip to Sweden and Finland, I had not expected it to rain the whole time. However, hot chocolate from a little cafe on the corner warmed my stomach, its sweetness softening

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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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