Listening to the Question

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The Right Questions

“We do not grow by knowing all of the answers, but rather by living with the questions.”

 Max De Pree, Businessman and Writer

How many questions will you be asking today? I confess I have no idea. My “educated” guess would be in the hundreds, beginning on Monday morning when I ask, “Where did the weekend go?”  Most of our questions seek knowledge and start with the usual who, what, where, when and why. For example:

Who did that? What went wrong? Where are they? When are you going to grow up? Why did this happen to me?

Bono once said, “We thought that we had the answers, it was the questions we had wrong.” Perhaps if we asked different questions, more people would listen.

Who can I help? What can I do? Where can I make a difference? When do you need me? Why don’t we work together?

“The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions.”

Antony Jay, English Writer, Broadcaster and Director

20 thoughts on “Listening to the Question

  1. What a great post, Clanmother. I’ll chew on this one while taking my dog for a walk in the woods.

    ….Who can I help? What can I do? Where can I make a difference?….
    Probably by looking in the mirror and ask myself, as once Michael Jackson.

    Have a great weekend.
    Love Dina

    Martin Luther King:
    Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’

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    • I got goose bumps reading your comments!! I especially like when you said “probably by looking in the mirror….” Vancouver’s rain warning is over, and there may be a bit of sunshine by Sunday afternoon. In the meantime, I am enjoying a hot cup of tea….

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  2. Great point…we’ll never get the right answers if we don’t know the right questions.

    “What question shall I ask you?” <– Is that the right question? Or should I even ask?

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    • A very good question. According to Pablo Picasso technology is of little use!

      “Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.”
      ― Pablo Picasso

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  3. I find that when I grow more mature, I sense more of the shortage of time for learning loads of things that I hope to know. That urgency …. is difficult to be described. One of the challenges perhaps is how to ask proper questions (to oneself or others) before suitable answers be sought?

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    • It is indeed a poignant truth – we run out of time. The only way we can claim the value of a moment, is by discerning the questions that are closest to our hearts. Sometimes, the most difficult task is to listen to ourselves.

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  4. Very true. Most part of our lives, we worry, pray about things we don’t really want. “What about me?” makes us a reckless wanderer.

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    • How true! I think back on all those hours of angst about things that I really did need or want and I wonder what I was thinking! A great analogy – reckless wanderer!

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  5. So true, Clanmother ~ “Bono once said, ‘We thought that we had the answers, it was the questions we had wrong.’ Perhaps if we asked different questions, more people would listen. “

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    • Thank you for joining the dialogue, Kathleen. As the years go by, I realize that it is the questions that keep us moving forward. Curiosity is a powerful force!!!

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  6. Who, What, Where, How. Very good words, easy to say, maybe we need to examine the rest of the sentences.

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    • I do agree – let us examine the rest. I think that we may be surprised by what we actually say….hmmmmm 🙂

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