If you ask pertinent, searching questions, the chances are you’ll receive more rewarding, informative answers. Yet questioning has become something of a lost art, which is a shame as it’s an important skill that deserves recognition. The style of question might differ- a factual request that requires only a short answer, a probing insight that demands a fuller explanation; a rhetorical statement to provoke reflection- but it is vital for effective communication. It helps to avoid misunderstanding and misinterpretation, it deepens trust, steers the conversation and keeps people engaged. It’s a powerful tool centered around careful word choice, tone of voice and body language. The trick is knowing when to adopt which tone and stance. What if, rather than trying to discover an answer, solution or truth, the attention might have been better placed on the question itself? But not just any question- a purposeful one that, while it might not lead to an answer, is likely to provide food for thought and generate more, yes, questions. Because sometimes asking questions is more important than finding answers.
Questions are the driving force behind human progress and challenging ideas, assumptions and facts helps to drive creativity. It also stimulates the mind and opens it to fresh approaches. If a person wants to change the way they think, they first need to consider reframing the way they see the world by asking the right questions.
in this insanity that we call rightful living, what have I missed at the shoreline?
inquiry for today~ what is your service to the world? to your own questioning?
The beloved poet Mary Oliver posed a radical question during a rare interview. She asked, “What does it mean that the Earth is so beautiful, and what shall I do about it?” Her question implies a sense of responsibility. A responsibility she felt towards serving the beauty of the Earth through her poetry. Provoking reverence was her activism. Through her words, we come to revere Earth. Once revered, we can no longer see Earth as an object or commodity to consume. We become her advocate. We have felt holiness in our body.
Holiness is expansive. It moves us beyond ourselves into a larger mystery. We stop and become aware of our place within a delicate network. We move from producer to participant. We begin to experience that we are not creating alone, that the world around us is creating all the time, that creation is holy, and we (by our creative expression) weave ourselves into this holiness. That is what matters. That is enough. More than enough. It is transformative. And awakening. And terrifying. And jolting. Whatever is created is simply an offering, a byproduct of a deeply sacred process and meaningful act of service. When we begin to think of creativity as an invitation to participate rather than a demand to produce, we take an expansive step towards our own creative flight and freedom. Our gaze has shifted. Now we watch with wonder the natural propensity of the creative heart to participate and serve through artistic expression.
~Deborah Anne Quibell