We are born asking questions. My mother likes to tell the story of newborn me being placed in her arms for the very first time. The memory is engraved in her heart and in her mind, such a strong impression it made. The little bundle I was looked her right in the eye, asking, “Well, you’ve got me now. What are you going to do with me?”
And ever since, I have been asking, “What does this mean?”
Where do questions come from? A need to know and understand. Curiosity, surely. Riddle me this, riddle me that. The pull of the interesting. Taking the outside world in. Expanding your horizons. Existence is so exceptionally complex and bit by bit we seek to broaden our understanding of it. People are so complex. Let’s broaden our understanding of them, too. We want to make sense of the stupefying dynamics that surround and inhabit us. Any attempt to penetrate reality begins with questioning it.
We cannot simply “believe.” We need to question. In my case, I can’t even take the credit for it. It is an imperative of my brain. I am fully aware of my own thinking as something separate from me. My brain has its own agenda. It has its ways. Nothing to do with me. But I go along for the ride, and learn a thing or two while we soak it all in.
Oh, I don’t expect to ever get all the answers. But it’s an amazing trip, to this river, or this lake, or this mountain. Question-asking is powerful. It’s a certain buzz, to find out or assess something you didn’t know before. Understanding dawns brightly. Understanding is what a brain was made to do.
But I know people who don’t ask a lot of questions. They make statements. Their source of information comes from inside rather than outside. They know it all already. They operate on assumptions that they take for fact. It’s a kind of isolation. How can you develop connections to a world you never explore?
The questioner in me wants to understand them, too. Are they happy? Are they delusional? Does thinking pain them? What happened to their curiosity? What are they afraid of? Why can’t they see the other side?
Questions open doors; statements close them. Gotta let some breeze blow through.