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22 April 2017

The Rules Against Asking Questions

The Rules Against Asking Questions

or,  we're not all that good with the Unknown

Asking Questions, an article by Stowe Boyd on Medium, stabs at a lifelong wound. A wound that I suspect many of us suffer from.

From the beginning of our lives our parents, family, schools and religions discourage questions. From the beginning, we are taught that questions are perceived as a threat. But let’s make a clear distinction here: a question is allowed if, and only when, the authority has an answer. Particularly if it’s a stock answer, easy answer, codified answer, approved answer, or some other variation of proven-to-be-the- answer answer.

The unspoken rules about questions goes way back. Questions are a threat that’s deeply entrenched in our myths, what with Satan being heaved out of Heaven because he questioned God about something or other.

Clearly, the wrong questions cause embarrassment at a minimum and deeply troublesome outcomes when played out in more the environment of broader, institutional challenges. Questions can get people beheaded.

Part of the resistance to questions has to do with our expectations of instant responses to everything. But this is where those confounding Taoist-like riddles start kicking in. Because what rational person would truly expect there to be clear answers to everything when we can’t even come close to defining the Everything?

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