“The only dumb question is the one you don’t have the courage to ask.” No truer words were ever spoken. You should never be afraid to ask questions. If you don’t understand, need more information or clarification, ask questions! This applies to everyone young and old, rich and poor, in school, out of school, Everyone! It’s what smart, successful people do. Asking questions is the source of all knowledge. Questions are the ultimate solution.
I remember when I was a kid, during the summer my dad would give me chores to do before I could go out with my friends. Most of the time they were pretty self-explanatory I’d do my work no questions asked, then take-off with my friends. Sometimes they’d come by and I’d still be working, they’d always, jump in and lend a hand so we could get on our way. My sister used to say I was like Tom Sawyer, getting my friends to do my work for me, I guess maybe I was. Other times my chores were more detailed and there were steps that needed to be followed. Sometimes I’d forget something or wouldn’t understand a particular step, but would I ask for clarification? No way! I didn’t want to look stupid, or for my dad to think I wasn’t listening. He was a tough truck drivin’ man and he didn’t have a lot of patience, so I’d keep my mouth shut, nod my head, and pretend to understand. Later when he got home and the job wasn’t done right, there was hell to pay and I always seemed to be paying! Just a few simple questions and I could have avoided the yelling, restriction and sometimes even the belt. But embarrassment, or fear of ridicule, kept me from doing the smart thing: admit ignorance and ask questions. Even in school I wouldn’t ask questions because I didn’t want to look dumb in front of my friends, the teacher or especially the girls. God forbid!
In the twenty plus years I’ve been in Education I’ve seen so many students who reminded me of myself at their age. Even at the college level there were those students looking dazed and confused, needing clarification, but not willing to risk possible humiliation. Better to take the low grade and settle for less than to embarrass themselves in front of their peers.
How well our lives turn out is determined by the depth of our thinking. How well we think is a result of what we learn and the quality of our questions. Without questions, we don’t stand a chance of recognizing what is relevant to our lives. To be successful in life we need to get over our fear of asking questions. What we learn from asking the right questions will assist us in our life quest for happiness and contentment. The answers to our questions will help us form lasting friendships, choosing life-partners, and find work that will fulfill us. To find the answers we seek we must all be willing to ask the questions… no matter what the cost…