|How many questions do you ask each day? (Pickles, Brian Crane, March 15, 2016)|
When my nieces and nephews were growing up, I remember they were always asking Why? Why? Why? And, eventually, the adult response became "Because I said so!" I wonder... is it at this stage in our young lives that we learned to shift from Why to What?
While in college, Brad - a church minister working with our college student group, asked us, "What color is God?" I think most people responded with similar answers. Being a quiet, introverted person, I sat back and pondered his question. Brad, noticing that I hadn't answered, asked me what I was thinking. I answered, "God is Blue!" Some people chuckled, but Brad cocked his head and asked me "Why?" I explained that the skies, being blue on a good day, represented the expansiveness of the heavens. It is as if we are surrounded by blue: God envelops us and is always present!
|Each question invites us to move deeper|
Brad could have stopped with his first question, What. But it was his second question, Why, that opened the door to what I was thinking. That is,
- What - may answer the facts of the question; whereas,
- Why - allows us to explore the thoughts or feelings behind the answer.
Concepts to explore:
- An issue or problem arises when we think our opinions (the rungs of the Ladder) are actually the facts (the foundation). Centuries ago, Marcus Aurelius suggested that Opinions and perceptions are not the same as facts or the truth.
- Asking Why we hold a particular opinion may open a window that allows us to probe or see how thoughts, feelings, opinions and perceptions are different than the facts.
- Dialogue is a relational activity. It invites us into exploration: why does another person think and feel differently than I do?
|Questions allows us to peek and grow|
|Choosing to move forward... together!|
And finally, Marion Milner suggests: "The growth of understanding follows an ascending spiral rather than a straight line." Our challenge weeks after the Election, is to take that next step, the invitation to travel together... searching for questions and answers.... asking our Whats and Whys... and listening.
Our questions may not take us in a straight line or the road we expected to travel, but maybe... by asking more questions of each other, we will unburden ourselves of unnecessary accusations and misconceptions.
May this week allow time for continued reflection and dialogue as we try to move toward deeper truth!
Dialogue San Diego Consulting