First published in the Beaumont Enterprise January 9, 2022
ABC’s of Wisdom Q- Questioning
“The important thing is to never stop questioning.” – Albert Einstein
Do you ask questions? The importance of asking questions eludes most of us. In conversation, we like to talk about ourselves without learning about the other person with questions like: What has been happening in their lives? What do they enjoy? What are they doing tomorrow? In his classic book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
Not only do we make friends by asking questions, we learn by asking questions. The interaction of student and teacher increases success in the school classroom and in life’s classroom. We are accustomed to asking Google for the answers to questions that come up whether in our personal lives or at the dinner table. The answer is at our fingertips. Not so for all questions, though. Don’t expect Google to answer questions about your values, your plans or your thoughts. And what could be more important than your thoughts? That is a question to consider.
When we ask a question, we may feel that we are vulnerable. We are letting others know that we don’t know the answer. We could think that makes us appear weak or even stupid. The opposite is more likely. Asking a question lets others know that you are thinking, that you are willing to listen and consider what others know. Knowledge can be gained from questioning and listening.
When I was a classroom teacher, I appreciated students who were curious and brave enough to ask questions. They were the ones who were teachable. Throughout history our great scientists were willing to ask questions. Every important scientific discovery was preceded by a question.
“ For example, James Watson and Francis Crick’s proposal that DNA takes the form of a double helix helped answer a burning question in biology about the chemical structure of DNA. . . raised many new questions . . . and contributed to whole new fields of research (e.g., genetic engineering). Like Watson and Crick’s work, most scientific research generates new expectations, inspires new questions, and leads to new discoveries.” https://undsci.berkeley.edu/article/0_0_0/whatisscience_08
The United States congress holds hearings in which they gather information by asking questions. Questions are essential in the quest for truth. In the court of law, questions are asked and the person on the stand must answer truthfully or could be charged with perjury.
Questions are the heart of our lives, our government, our scientific community and healthy families.
Questions you could ask yourself that may change your life:
- What bad habits do I need to stop?
- Have I been the kind of person I want to be?
- What am I grateful for today?
- What makes my soul happy?
- How will this world be better when I am gone?
Asking questions leads to wisdom. What questions will you ask? That is a question worth considering.
Gail Cawley Showalter is the founder of SMORE for Women and the author of Living Learning Loving. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
I hold a degree from Lamar University in Speech and a Master’s from the University of Texas. I was an educator in regular and special education for twenty years, finishing my professional career as a Braille teacher. I am a Certified Professional Coach with Fowler International Academy.
I married Sam after raising three children as a single mother.
In 2007 I founded SMORE for Women. SMORE is a nonprofit whose goal is Single Moms, Overjoyed, Rejuvenated, & Empowered. My stories have been published in several Christian books and magazines. My book, Living Learning Loving, Insights and Encouragement on the Path of Motherhood is available for purchase on Amazon.