people love to ask questions. shoot, i love to ask questions. why? where? what happened next? how'd you feel? what did it taste like? was it good? when was that? what's the purpose? how do you do this? our whole lives, we've been taught to be inquisitive. to search out. to understand. to learn.
and this can be great. as a "learner" and someone high in "input," i can be queen of question. my mom tells stories of how, when i was little, the first thing out of my mouth each morning was, "what are we doing today?" i struggled with some great questions in my life, academically, spiritually, and some just for fun. i love the pursuit of knowledge. i love "to know."
one of the things i've realized in recent months though is the damage that questions can do. questions carry a lot of weight. and they can have tons of unintended consequences. see, the problem behind questions lies in their answers. you may wonder what i'm talking about, and its hard because i don't really want to overshare on here. but its like this-
say you ask someone how they are doing. simple enough question, right? but the problem lies in what they are going through- the answer they want to give you in their mind. they might be thinking- "i'm not doing good at all. ----- just happened, don't they know?!" instead they offer up an, "i'm good," but your question just reminded them of their pain.
how often do we ask question without really caring about the answer? the question above is a perfect example. how often do i ask "how are you?" when really, i'm just doing the social convention of making small talk. do i really care? and if i do care, what is the purpose of my caring? do i care for you and for your answer? do i care for the simple pursuit of knowledge? do i care because i want to have the tale to tell later? do i care because i believe i have "the right" to know?
it's time i pay attention to my motivations. it's time i show my friends i care by the questions i ask and don't ask.
i've decided to be more intentional in what i ask. this is going to be hard- its much easier to not pay attention. but i have been hurt by questions, and i do not want to inflict the same pain. i don't want my questions to serve as a reminder of someone's inner pain, inner conflict, or inner struggles.