Knowing the right answer and ‘being right’ was highly prized in my family. I didn’t flourish and often argued for a third way. But it has still taken time for me to appreciate the real power of questions.
Weaning ourselves away from the fear of getting it wrong does require cultivating being comfortable about asking questions. Of being OK with the world rarely being black or white. And knowing that things change.
Unfortunately, this is rarely the premise we encounter most days. Whether in our education system, politics or workplace. And I think we are collectively much poorer for it.
So take heart from this delightful comic strip, which was shared by a friend of mine, Mark Dyck. It certainly brought a smile to my face!
A day at the park – by Kostas Kiriakakis
What’s with the fungi?
You may have thought this was a strange image for a reflection on questions! I agree. But these fruiting bodies promoted a profound question for me during the week.
Our woods at The Waterside are bursting with amazing fungi this year. More abundant in both size and variety than I’ve ever seen in the 13 autumns we’ve been here.
The problem is I don’t know which ones are edible…
As I’ve wandered amongst these glorious eruptions day after day, I’ve realised that we have an abundance here in the valley.
And I’m just not seeing it…
So the question ‘which ones are safe to eat?’ becomes a mind opener. It moves me from my limiting view of this highly unusual, sometimes challenging, 40-acre valley, shaped by its history. To one where I am open to new possibilities, because I don’t assume I know all the answers to how are we going to pay the mortgage.
And I wonder what might cause a shift in your way of looking at your apparently intractable problems?
Other questions of the week
In this first week of short Quiet Disruptor posts from Monday-Friday, interestingly (though not intentionally) each poses a question.
MONDAY: Drawing a line – What is the line you will not cross?
TUESDAY: Who are you?
WEDNESDAY: Hope v. wishful thinking – What is your hope and what are you going to do about it?
THURSDAY: Thoughtful provocation – Who makes real, lasting change?
FRIDAY: What do you notice? – What catches your attention that other people often miss?
Perhaps pick the question that feels most urgent to you and carry it around like a stone in your pocket. Letting the disturbance do its work in you.
In SueWaterside, my personal blog, I have thought about questions on several occasions. You might find one of these useful:
- Right answers v. good questions – May 2017
- Better answers require better questions – June 2017
- How do you handle big questions? – April 2018
I’d love to hear from you, including your comments, questions and suggestions for Quiet Disruptors.
Stay curious and practice using questions…