The Value of Questions
The quality of your life is proportional to the quality of the questions you dare to ask.
Ask and it shall be given.
Should you give people the answer to a question they haven’t taken the time to ask? Should you help someone who hasn’t asked for help? This is a question I’ve been pondering for a while now.
What if it is someone you love?
What if the lack of questions is creating pain, separation or suffering?
Should you always tell the truth? Should you help them?
Sometimes you know things others don’t. You know that the truth can be painful. Do you really want to tell someone you love something that is going to make them feel bad, especially if they didn’t ask for it?
This is a dilemma people with knowledge have always been put in. You can see someone has a problem. You know how to solve it. But if you help without being invited it, despite all your good intentions, it never works out.
So, should you answer a question that has not been asked?
Well, probably not. If the question hasn’t been asked, then the student is not ready for the answer. The answer would not be valued.
There is a saying that sums this up nicely:
“Do not put pearls before swine.”
Giving people answers that they did not ask for serves no one. It is a Lose-Lose situation. It makes you feel good in the moment because you have the impression of being useful. But the answer is not valued properly because it was not asked for. There was no need for the answer. If you give someone a valuable answer but they do not value it, you then feel bad because they don’t value your effort and you end up feeling unconsidered. They feel bad because they feel like you are intruding, trying to fix them or like you’re rejecting them.
Sometimes the most loving thing you can do for someone is to create space. I don’t want to make them feel bad. I want them to feel good. If they feel bad I feel bad.
What if God, Nature, the Universe or whatever you believe in works this way too? What if you can actually get whatever you want and all you need to do is ask the right question?
In one of my favorite books there is a scene where the protagonist goes to the sage of the tribe and asks him a very powerful question. This wise man responds by saying, “I have waited a long time for you to ask me that question.”
The thing is, he waited for the young man to ask the question. The wise man knew the answer, all along, but he kept it to himself. Only when the proper question was asked did the proper answer follow.
You cannot get mad at someone for not asking a question. They are simply not yet at a place where such a question has value. It might happen later. It might never happen. Either way you know how to respond.
Be gentle and kind while answering the questions you can answer. Point out situations but wait for questions before you give any answers.
Everyone has their own clock. You should never expect others to function according to yours.
Stop trying to help people that don’t want your help.
Give answers only when questions are asked. There is a reason it’s called Q&A.
Answers always follow questions.
Ask and it shall be given.
In this world, if you want things to change you need to ask better questions.
What questions have you not been asking?