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"Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple." What does this...

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pretty001 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 12, 2011 at 12:55 PM via web

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"Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple." What does this quote mean?

"Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple." What does this quote mean?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 13, 2011 at 1:40 AM (Answer #2)

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I am not aware of which Dr. Seuss book this quote comes from, but it seems to me that this question relates to the way in which often we can ask ourselves questions to which we know the answer, and to which the answer is actually quite simple, but the process of asking the question makes us appreciate how complicated the issue is. Let us take an example to demonstrate what I am talking about. Often in relationships, a relationship will reach a stage where we know that we have to end it. However, the question "Should I end it?" is actually far more complicated than the answer, which is "Yes." With such questions, our emotions make the question so much more complicated that it needs to be, and helps distract us from the simple answer and the way that we have to act in response.

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 27, 2011 at 1:17 AM (Answer #3)

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I agree.  This means that oftentimes we know what the problem is, but we don't know what the solution is.  In other words, we can see where we need to go, but we don't know how to get there.  Life is full of simple, meaningful and completely unanswerable questions.  What is the meaning of life?  It's also full of difficult questions with far-ranging effects: Am I in love?

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 27, 2012 at 12:57 AM (Answer #4)

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This quote appears in  The Lucky One movie.  It originally appears as a quote from Dr. Seuss in a motivational-type book Looking Tall by Standing Next to Short People, And Other Techniques for Managing a Law Firm (2007) by H. Edward Wesemann.

I believe the quote addresses man's never-ending quest to complicate things needlessly. We try to ask these really difficult questions in order to understand the world around us and in doing so, we miss the point about what is really important; those simple answers, the simple things in life should be our focus. 

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