Why do we ask so many questions?
Consultants spend a good deal of time developing the questions they need to ask so we are able to arrive at the answers for discovering the right solution. Applying expertise with critical thinking is essential to problem solving.
But let’s get a little philosophical for a moment and explore in general why we, as human beings, ask so many questions? We seem to be rather curious creatures. Though we are probably not too different in our curiosity from other animals — say a cat — we possess the ability to verbalize the things we are curious about and work on questions with others. This gives us the advantage of looking at a question from more than one perspective, because each of us has a unique experience.
We also ask questions because we seek to understand. We may encounter in our experience things that don’t make sense. Again, because we are able to put questions into words, we can gain the advantage of others who may help us understand something better. But not always. Human experience shows that there will always be more good questions than good answers.
So much of what we want to know boils down to the shortest question, the one we drove our parents crazy with as soon as we learned it: “Why?” As adults, we continue to ask it constantly. While we are successful in figuring out answers to many of our “whys?”, there are many that will keep eluding our best personal or shared reasoning.
When we consider the questions we have around events like the horrifying shootings at the outdoor concert in Las Vegas, they go beyond human curiosity, past trying to understand an experience. Our thoughts seem to return to the fundamental question, “Why?” In a situation like that, we struggle to make sense of something that is so senseless. Even if we could know the “why” within the mind of this killer, it is unlikely the answer would make sense to us.
During another September, sixteen years ago, I wrote another essay trying to understand the senselessness of 9/11/2001. If you are like me, you are still asking the same questions about the recent tragedy and still searching for answers you can understand.
About Tim Crawford
Tim Crawford worked at Keenan for more than 20 years and is now consulting for the company on communication, media relations and health care reform projects. Tim is a Certified Internet Marketer, chairs the Internet Marketing Association of New Mexico, and is a member of the California YMCA Board of Directors.