What’s The Question?

Questions by walknboston on karegiver.org
Image courtesy of Walknboston via Karegivers.org

My seven-year old grandson used to be six. He was full of questions when he was six. At seven, he’s full of knowledge, beyond his years. I don’t know how he learned so much, so fast. And when exactly did I become wrong about everything? How does one become obsolete in a matter of days and months? My grandson has amazed me, from day one, with true brilliance. He’s smart, talented, and delights me in so many ways. But, I think I can still teach him a thing or two. If I can only get him to understand that.

Relativity                                                                                                                                                        I hope to nurture a sense of wonder in my grandson. That healthy curiosity which accompanies intelligent exploration. The greatest discoveries don’t come from disinterested spectators. Everyone of our masterful modules of understanding emerged from a question. Not just any and every question. But questions which have a desire to be answered. There are far too many homeless queries holding up signs, will work for answers, who turn down all offers of resolution.

There’s something about determination. Resisting the temptation to give up because something is difficult. If my observations are correct, answers aren’t hard at all. It’s the questions we struggle with. Wrong questions only lead to more questions. There seems to me to be an undeniable law governing all progress. If you want answers you have to have the right questions.

Carl Sagan, in his book “The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark” said: There are naive questions, tedious questions, ill-phrased questions, questions put after inadequate self-criticism. But every question is a cry to understand the world. Like many others Sagan believes there are no dumb questions. I won’t disagree. Although I’m glad some of my questions never went public. I do wonder about the wisdom of questions that take a vow of celibacy.

Team players won’t bring you problems without offering potential solutions. I’ve never felt important by knowing what’s wrong. I believe significance come from the problems we solve. To be fair to myself, to give myself every chance of fulfilling my potential, I alone must take responsibility for the questions I ask. Before my questions and answer can marry they have to be compatible and relative.

ladder by Mykl Roventine commons.wikimedia.org
Image courtesy of Mykl Roventine via commons.wikimedia.org

Rungs on the Ladder                                                                                                                                Questions can be nurturing and nutritious enough to be a permanent staple in our daily diets. To stop inquiring is a sure way to give yourself sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia. Otherwise known as “brain freeze.” Most agree, nothing in the universe moves faster than light. In a spiritual sense we are always playing catch up. To forfeit our right to investigation, or have our ability to employ questions as a method of understanding the “whys” of life, can lead to nihilism. Skepticism, negativity, cynicism, pessimism, and mobocracy may follow any society which loses its courage to question.

What good is freedom of speech if we don’t know what we’re talking about? If we are to grow, develop, find our best selves, solve our deepest issues I think we must ask ourselves, What’s the question?

What is the best question you’ve ever asked?



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  1. “Who was I before I had a face…before life told me who I should be?”

    Certainly not original, but a question that has sparked a year-long search to discover and remember…

    My daily prayer now is, “Oh God, help me to believe the truth about myself–no matter how beautiful it is.” Macrina Wiederkehr.