Proof of Brain: Asking Questions to Find Answers vs. Asking Questions to Promote Discussion
Learning is a lifelong endeavor.
In this context, I don’t just mean intellectual learning, I mean all manners of learning.
One of my spiritual Teachers from many moons ago liked to use the inquiry ”are you THINKING and are you GROWING?” as a sort of metric for whether or not people were inclined to learn anything from his workshops and sessions. He was also trying to understand whether people were simply looking for information or for actual wisdom.
I’ve been a blogger for better than 20 years, and a writer for considerably longer. There are all sorts of reasons why people become writers — aside from simply ”I really ENJOY it” — and I won’t get into those… just mention that we tend to have ”superficial” reasons for writing, along with deeper or more ”core” reasons. This tends to hold true for almost all forms of creativity, from music to painting to performing to writing.
One of my deeper reasons for writing is that I enjoy extending the invitation to people to think as well as to RE-Think what they already hold to be the truth. I don’t like getting into the whole saber-rattling ”I am RIGHT and you are WRONG” dichotomy; I by far prefer to simply open the door to possibilities just a crack and invite people to peer in.
What’s on the other side? Maybe something new and interesting? Maybe an entire paradigm shift? Or maybe merely confirmation that what you already hold to be true is solid?
As long as I am open to learning I tend to be willing to peer inside a lot of doors, even those that on the surface might seem like they stand in opposition to my point of view.
I read — and have read — a lot of very scholarly and ”serious” papers on a wide range of topics. One of the things I keep being reminded of is how often these are written in such a way that they are almost forbidding and they certainly don’t invite discourse and discussion.
Which brings me around to the title of this post: If you want to inspire discussion and exploration of a topic, it’s wise to make your material approachable, rather than ”forbidding.”
Those who visit my blog regularly have undoubtedly noticed that I always end my thoughts with a series of questions. 99% of the time, those questions aren’t there because I am looking to find a specific answer, they are there to simply get the ball rolling on discussion.
Whereas I am always open to learning, you could say that I am more interested in hearing what YOU would do, than what you think I should do.
Of course, these days it is often recognized that people have different learning styles. I tend to learn the most through hearing other people’s personal anecdotes how their experience unfolded when they tackled a situation similar to what was in the text. What’s more — when there is active feedback — it becomes a small repository of possibilities that people besides myself might benefit from.
That also happens to be my particular brand of idealism!
Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!
How about YOU? Do you use questions as discussion starters? Or only when you need actual specific information? Do you find it easy to engage with (or comment on) content that's just a set of dry facts? Or do you prefer a more "conversational" tone? Comments, feedback and other interaction is invited and welcomed! Because — after all — SOCIAL content is about interacting, right? Leave a comment — share your experiences — be part of the conversation!
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Created at 20210910 21:50 PDT