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I Question


I question.  I question everything, I always have.  You can call it being inquisitive, or blame it on Aquarian curiosity and I'm sure it's both, fueled by my need to be aware of what's happening in order to feel secure about my life.  If we don't know... anything is possible, and anything could be bad.  If we know the facts we can at least attempt to come to terms with the reality they represent.  It is the not knowing which leaves me unsettled.

Why is, of course, my favorite question.  I want to know not just the facts of what is, but also why it is that way.  What caused it, what is the reason or purpose for it, and what is the potential for change?  To that end, I ask lots of questions, as most of you by now know.  Not trivial questions about the weather or why you chose those red shoes, but deep questions that get at the heart of the matter. Given the opportunity, I could and would gladly occupy an entire afternoon or evening asking you questions about yourself, your life, and how you view things.  I use that information not only to form a picture about you in my mind, but also to weigh against my own beliefs and actions, to reconsider if they are still solid or in need of adjustment. 

I also like to ask questions in the possibility that I will learn something new, as often happens.  The study of human nature fascinates me! It is said that everyone has a story to tell, and that is so true. We often think we know a person well, based on what we see and hear on a surface level, and if we take the time to get to know them on a deeper level we are surprised, often in a good way!  Nothing delights me more than finding out that someone is a much deeper thinker than I would have suspected. 

It goes without saying that people often see me as nosey or intrusive because I ask so many questions.  I think it's fair as long as I am willing to accept their choice not to answer (obviously), and also to be willing to answer questions posed to me.  I am pretty much an open book, and there are very few, if any topics that are off-limits if someone sincerely wants to know more about me.  In fact at one time we had "One Question Wednesday" sessions on my blog in which anyone could pose any question and I would answer, and in return I got to ask one of them.  We had a lot of fun with it!

I am good at asking probing questions, I probably should have been a news reporter.  But I am not so good at staying emotionally detached from issues, and so much of news is tragedy or pure stupidity.  What I am not good at is guessing what other people are thinking, or trying to read between the lines.  I am uncomfortable in situations and relationships where the other person leaves you always trying to guess what they really think, or what message they are trying to convey without coming right out and saying it.  I will often say in exasperated tones, "Just tell me!"  Make it plain and clear!  Because my mind is often running in several directions at once, I tend to miss subtle things like hints.  Subtle just doesn't work with me.  And of course it goes without saying, that if you are a more closed person that prefers to keep your thoughts and feelings to yourself, I will probably not be  having a great deal of interaction with you, since I get quickly bored with superficial chit-chat.

I would like to think that I have enough common sense to know when and how to ask things so as not to be over-the-top rude or pushy, though sometimes if I get shut down I might try re-asking or re-phrasing the question at another time, if I feel I have a legitimate reason for wanting to know.  Some people welcome questions as an opportunity to share a bit about themselves and to interact on a more personal level, while others quickly take offense or put up a protective wall.  I had an ex who would get angry any time I asked a question about anything, even a "how do I do this", or "why is it like that" that wasn't of a personal nature.  I eventually learned that questioning was strongly discouraged when he was a child, children were to be seen and not heard, and to just do as told without ever asking why.  He frequently got in trouble for asking, so learned not to do so, and that carried over to his adult intolerance for questioning.  I think he also at times felt insecure and wasn't able to just say "I don't know" if he didn't, believing that it would somehow make him seem less in my eyes if he didn't know all the answers, when in reality who of us does?  "I honestly don't know", is a fair answer as far as I'm concerned, a jumping off point for us to see if we can both find out and learn something new!

Sometimes I do wish I had more of a tendency to just accept what happens without question. It has caused me many problems in life, one example being when the pastor of the church I was raised in nearly refused my participation in confirmation rites at the age of sixteen, because I asked too many questions that made him uncomfortable.  I had just wanted to understand more about the beliefs I was about to adopt as my own.  Needless to say, I am no longer a member of that church, it wasn't a good fit.

The reality is that I will always seek to know more, to understand better, and to learn knew things. It it who and what I am, and I honestly don't think it's such a bad thing.  Wisdom comes from understanding, as does learning to get along with each other in this world!  Once we understand someone, it is less likely we will have reason to fear them or to draw the wrong conclusions.  My advice is to "Speak up"! Make yourself and your intentions clear, and when in doubt, question! :-)

12 comments:

  1. "The reality is that I will always seek to know more, to understand better, and to learn knew things." - this is a really good thing! the world needs more people willing to understand and willing to 'speak up'!

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    1. Thank you Louise. I hope I never grow too old or too hardened to stop being curious about this thing called life and all the wonderful people I've met on the journey!

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  2. While I think it was typo, I'd love a shirt that says, "Learn Knew Things." I like the word play there.

    I can't say why, but as I read this I was reminded of Robert Fulghum. In one of his books he wrote about the joy he felt as he looked at the shelves in a library. He was excited by the idea of so much information that he couldn't consume it all. But there was also sorrow, because there was so much information he couldn't consume it all.

    In my writing, I am an open book. I'm pretty much that way in real life as well. The difference for me is in who gets that information. My blog is open for anyone who happens upon it. In real life, I'm just as open with what I'll share but far pickier about who I share with. Not because of my distaste for most people but because so many people think conversation is meaningless chit chat. I have no desire to spend my life being bored by what someone ate for dinner, why they wore red shoes, or most of the mundane crap that makes up so much of human interaction.

    You are a wonderful questioner. Rather than a reporter, you should have been a biographer. Your thirsty for details and your gift for words would make this a perfect fit.

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    1. Apparently I was channeling you with the length of that response. :)

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    2. I was delighted that you responded to this, having been on the receiving end of my probing questions on more than one occasion. :-) I too at times feel frustrated because I can't possibly learn about all the wonderful things that interest me, I can barely find time to learn the basic functions of my electronic gadgets, much less the wonders of the universe! I also agree about being more selective about who we share ourselves with. Sometimes we open ourselves to someone we think is truly interested only to find out that they were just using us to pass the time. A biographer, yes, I would enjoy that! In fact I have one to write, and it would be a great book... if I could just get my act together and get started on it!

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    3. Writing this during lunch, I ran out of time to proof it before publishing (not that I always catch everything anyway). I was going to correct "knew" to new but then decided I agree with you, it's a great play on words! And yes, this is one of your longer comments ever, and I love that. When the Monkey gets inspired, he writes!

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  3. And THAT, dear lady, is exactly why I made my first quilt. I always thought it was a silly thing to do, since you can buy them a lot cheaper than making them, but I didn't know HOW, and I HAD to learn!!

    I once built a very nice table from scratch, only because I didn't know HOW to build a table. And it was fantastic.

    What all this learning will do once we're dead, makes it seem a waste of time, but I YEARN TO LEARN.

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    1. I understand that so well Lotta Joy, it is all about the pleasure of learning how to do something new. You have so many varied talents, a true Renaissance woman! I like to think that everything we learn adds one more bit of light to the world, and causes a ripple effect, not to mention the joy that is contagious when we learn something new and it makes us happy!

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  4. Me too Josie!
    I'm curious and want to know things.
    People fascinate me.
    Life fascinates me.
    I am told I ask too many questions (by my family, that is). I just tell them SO WHAT! you will never know things if you dont ask questions.

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    1. That's my thought exactly, Robin... how will we know if we don't ask? And how will we learn from our mistakes and misunderstandings if we don't questions why and what went wrong?

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  5. Yes. Speak up always. And always question things. I am always doing that. Just my way of trying to make sense of this big old world!!!

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    1. I totally agree Selma! Too often people tend to think that others know where they are coming from, when we are not mind readers and often read signals wrong. The solution is to speak up, be clear, and let people know what you're thinking and what you want!@ Don't leave room for doubt. I tire very quickly of the "quess what I'm not telling you" game. If you can't tell me, I am not going to expend a great deal of energy guessing!

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)