Since childhood, I was never satisfied by the answers given by the textbook and always dug into matters.. I was so fond of asking the whys and wherefores behind everything that my classmates once considered “why?” to be my pet phrase. The teachers were also very appreciative of my inquisitive nature, and they even bestowed a special prize upon me “The Child with a Million Wonders”. When I held the award and asked why they give it to me, the whole class bursted into laughters.
As I grow older, although I have long stopped to ask whys in a ridiculous manner, my curiosity moved on to cast a huge influence on the course of my life less explicitly. For example, I was curious about the assorted and varied players on the tennis court. I used to spend hours of time to watch how people play and try to imitate their motions, in an attempt to know which of us could do better in a competition. In addition, from their accents and clothes I even managed to fabricate an unique stories for each of them. What was really exciting for my young heart was talking to these people afterwards and see how much my imaginative stories coincide with their actual life. I was once truly surprised to find out that a plump uncle in a green polo, who struggled to get his tongue around Mandarin, was actually an eloquent lawyer in Cantonese. As I imbued myself in the interest in other people’s stories, I gradually realized how colorful our world is, filled with people with different mannerisms, quirks, and backgrounds, and it is precisely how these people interact with each other makes our society unpredictable yet fascinating.
My curiosity also motivated me academically. From the AP World History textbook, I have seen paintings of conceited voyagers in bizarre clothes and I often ask myself “Who were they?” and “What could have they done to instill so much pride in them?”. Carrying on with my quirk in prepubescent time, I jumped out of the textbooks and started to look for my own answers. I delved into a dozen of documentaries to understand what really happened as the naval technologies boomed on the European continent. As I gradually found the answers to my previous questions, a general overview of that period emerged in my mind - the voyage of Dias to southern Africa, the exploration of Madagascar by Vasco Da Gama, and the first around-the-globe expedition led by Christopher Columbus. I see in my mind for the first time the scene of the lively 16 century Europe, and I see how the people and the countries vied against each other for fortune and for land and for progress. On the frontiers of science and technology, these Europeans led the world forward with their curiosity, courage, and urge for exploration because they knew the boundary of knowledge didn’t lie around Europe. The study of history has opened up a completely new realm for me, a land of wonders in which I could revisit the moment of historical significance that even cast its influence on the present, and in which I could engage myself in an ongoing dialogue between people and events from different eras.
With a desire for exploration as strong as the old-time sailers, I also want to explore more about the world I live in because I too believe the boundary of knowledge does not lie around the present but also in the past and the future. With history in mind, I now ceased to perceive the Great wall as ruthless rocks. When I stroked through its cuts and bruises, the gigantic boulders seemed to relate their stories to me in an elderly yet vigorous voice - they told me about the great wars that filled with slaughter and blood, and the friendship and bravery of the ancient soldier they have witnessed. I felt that the colorful world that I live in has so much left to explore, and maybe there are an unique story behind every soul, every tree, and even rock. In the future, I genuinely hope to learn more about the stories waiting to be explored in history, and I am looking forward to visiting the significant historical attractions, especially the Swahili City states in Africa, all around the globe.