the importance of asking questions: how I have been growing in humility

recently I sent a letter to a group of people explaining what I observed and how I felt it was inadequate and was falling short of the standard that I think this particular community should be living up too. discussing this with a friend I came to an understanding that this was not loving because I did not know what was happening in the background that I could not observe. a mark of maturity is to observe what you can not see, which essentially promotes the act of believing the best of people you are working with and asking questions about what is going on. the most neglected act of observing is seeing how the past has shaped the present. often times we do not know the past so we need to ask questions. if you are catching on with what I am saying you will have figured out questions are a great way to show love, care, and affection.

a common definition of humility that I am coming to appreciate in a greater way is to not think of ourselves as lesser, but to think of others more. when we think of ourselves less we tend to not think we have it all together or that we know all, not that knowing all is possible but we can act like it. when we think of others more we realize the limitation of what we can know and if our reaction to that is healthy than that will cause us to ask questions. ignorance is not bliss, no matter how much you think happiness can be achieved by the pursuit of personal pleasure. we need to ask questions. questions send us to a place of choice. You know that miniscule moment where you have to choose, most often it is a moment of discomfort because you are challenged to enter into a foreign place. I guess you can say questions make you a traveler and a traveler has too often face that they do not know it all.

questions allow us to enter in. a general critique of our society is that we are losing our ability to connect due to our electronic devices that limit our human to human interactions. We have a hard enough time being present with somebody, but an even harder time engaging with somebody. a great way to start that is by asking questions. I know I personally need to ask more questions. I fall short of loving others because I do not ask enough questions to engage with their experience. Another example to illustrate this comes from the conversation I had with the guy above that showed me that I was being immature. I simply assumed that a particular experience had defined him a certain way and after he corrected me of his actual experience I realized a simple question would have helped me show him I care instead of assuming about the particular defining experience he had. a couple questions that would have been caring would be, how did you come to that place or what shaped your perspective on that. both of these would have been engaging, clarifying, and a sign of humility.
questions engage, questions bring clarity, and questions show humility. I have entered into the practice of asking questions with a couple different projects this past year to promote and further my growth in asking questions, so I can love god better, love others better, and love myself better. the first project was called personal questions and this was simply a list of questions that pertained to my personal development, which I will be writing about soon. the other project was a question a day, which was mainly questions about people, god, life, achieving goals, loving others, and personal growth. they were just questions that were in my head or that I came across throughout the day, but were none the less necessary questions that I felt needed to be wrestled with. most of the time we get questions in our head and 5 minutes later we forget it and never think about that intriguing question again. well by composing those questions I aim to engage with life, seek clarity of our purpose, and approach others in a humble way. I will be announcing more about the question a day project soon, so be excited. here is a little teaser, it has to do with twitter 🙂

what questions do you have? they can be anything, leave them below