“Asking questions means you want to learn. You want to understand and know. So where do you start? Anywhere you want. But don’t feel pressure to begin with the big questions… There is a significant amount to be learned from the seemingly mundane ones, questions that seem so basic, once we reach about age 12 we no longer bother asking them—because we either think we know the answer or are afraid of admitting we don’t.”
Farnham Street, The Power of Questions
A question is a recognition of something we don’t know. Knowing what we don’t know is crucial to learning.
How can we know what we don’t know if we don’t know we don’t know? By knowing what we know can never be complete. By remaining curious.
And asking those “stupid questions” regardless of our fear of looking stupid because we’re assuming other people already all know something, which is rarely the case. What we’re really doing is hoping the person we’re asking will be able to explain and teach us, to share in learning. That’s not stupid.
I love questions because they make me see things from different angles, increase my understanding, and help me in my writing and teaching.
Perhaps the only truly stupid question is the tautological “Can I ask a question?”.
- See Also: Ask Better Questions