You Won’t Find The Answers Until You First Have Questions

Like many children, I was one of those irritating little beings who asked a lot of questions. Unlike many people who grow older and stop asking questions, I have never really stopped asking questions of myself or of other people. To many people, this quality may be particularly irritating, because excessive questioning can be taken as a sign that someone is a pest, or deliberately challenging, and so sometimes I find it is best not to audibly express my frequent questions, but at the same time I still have these questions in my mind, and they often lead me to read or write or seek to communicate in some fashion so that I have answers. As is the case with many qualities, it is hard to call something good or bad without qualifying statements, because my relentlessly inquisitive ways are both good and bad, depending on the circumstance and the context, as the same desire to answer questions and find resolution to the many and serious tensions of my existence that leads to insight and empathy for others also leads to a lot of trouble and personal difficulty as well, and to people who only answer questions by refusing to say much of anything at all.

Be that as it may, I am what I am. Since I have a persistently curious nature and a tendency to want to know how, why, and to what extent in many areas where other people lack much curiosity at all, I seek to turn that curiosity to good ends. While this is easier said than done, there are at least a few ways where intense curiosity can lead to very good results for oneself and others. For one, answering questions often can help to solidify one’s own knowledge. As might be expected, I get asked a lot of questions. Sometimes, I do not immediately know the answers to those questions, and searching for the answer to those questions often leads me into interesting and worthwhile investigations about matters I would otherwise be ignorant of [1]. Although sometimes such matters can seem rather insignificant, I find it of particular worth to be able to understand better connections between various fields, and so I appreciate what may seem to others to be highly esoteric matters.

Besides the fact that the asking of questions benefits the person who answers the question, by allowing them an opportunity to research what others clearly want to know, because they are verbalizing their question already, asking questions benefits the person asking them as well, even apart from the answer that they receive. In asking questions, one has progressed beyond a mere acceptance of what is and has moved to the point where one is thinking about what could be, or what might lie beneath the surface. We cannot become people of wisdom and insight if we do not have questions about the world around us. Without questions, all we have are the often flimsy just-so stories of those around us, stories and explanations that often lack anything beyond mere plausibility or convenience. Yet many people are content to speak that which they do not really know, while others are content to accept such flimsy answers or not even to seek any answers at all. And we are all the poorer when we cannot even wonder or ponder at what is around us, given that there is so much to question about what we see and experience, and so much that is worthy of investigation.

For one reason or another, my life is often filled with little mysteries. Some of those mysteries are matters where I am faced with situations and ask questions like: “Why did so-and-so do this? What did they mean by this?” At other times, I find myself the holder of mysterious items, like a small selection of my grandfather’s old tieclips, and I am faced with the question of what my grandfather found appealing or interesting about them that he would wear them, and what they mean to me [2]. At other times I find myself being given items and trying to figure out who they belong to by the clues left in them. More than most people, I suppose, I enjoy not only reading a good mystery, but even living a good mystery and trying my hand at solving the mysteries I encounter in life. There is enough mystery in our lives to satisfy us, if we were even remotely curious about the world around us, that we would not need to resort to fiction to satisfy our search for compelling stories. The truth of our lives, and the lives of our friends and family members and rivals and enemies, is compelling enough that to answer the questions that spring up from them is enough to fill a whole lifetime of worthwhile investigations, and to make us better and more compassionate people simply because we have asked, and at least tried to answer as best as we were able.

[1] See, for example:

[2] See, for example:

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Christianity, Church of God, Musings and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to You Won’t Find The Answers Until You First Have Questions

  1. Pingback: Thy Word Is Truth | Edge Induced Cohesion

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