Is the Universe alive?
While modern man may tend to view humanity in a mechanistic manner, ancient thinkers, particularly mystics, tended to view the world as being inherently alive. This model automatically does away with the issue of where life came from, or even how it might have originated, since it views "life" as a fundamental aspect of the Universe itself.
Even more curiously, this may have been the worldview held by at least some of the ancient Alchemists. Under this model not only are humans, animals, and plants alive, but rocks and minerals are as well. As unusual as this perspective might seem, it does have a certain poetic resonance to it — even if it requires one to adjust the common conception of "life".
Rocks, minerals, and atoms exhibit the unusual ability to pair themselves with some elements while remaining essentially inert around others. In the model of a living world, this is viewed as evidence of the elements exhibiting an inherent affinity for some materials at the exclusion of others.
As odd as it might seem, this phenomena can be viewed as evidence of choice. Whether or not you "believe" in this ancient myth, I believe that even the most unusual perspectives can ignite the flames of one's curiosity — thereby paving the way for new opportunities for learning and growth.
Despite what you have been taught, is it possible that the Universe (and everything in it) is inherently alive?