“He, who has a why to live for, can bear almost any how.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
If there is one big lesson I have learned in my life on how to get better at something (anything), it is that of asking questions…and a lot of them.
Now, asking questions does not come naturally to me. All my school and college life, I rarely asked questions for the fear of looking like a fool for the next five minutes.
Here is a wonderful thought from Anne Frank on the importance of asking questions from her Tales From the Secret Annex:
Ever since I was a little girl and could barely talk, the word ‘why’ has lived and grown along with me… When I got older, I noticed that not all questions can be asked and that many whys can never be answered. As a result, I tried to work things out for myself by mulling over my own questions. And I came to the important discovery that questions which you either can’t or shouldn’t ask in public, or questions which you can’t put into words, can easily be solved in your own head. So the word ‘why’ not only taught me to ask, but also to think. And thinking has never hurt anyone. On the contrary, it does us all a world of good.
Keep asking, you can find all the answers.
The Greek philosopher Socrates is considered to be one of the wisest person, he was one of the founders of Western philosophy. He however used to say: “I know one thing: that I know nothing”. (Source)
On the contrary, when we see the debates on electronic media or the posts of most people on social networking sites like Facebook, we find that these people are so sure of ‘what they know’ that they are not even willing to listen an alternative point of view.
We, therefore, wonder how a person who is treated by the world as the wisest person says that ‘he knows nothing’ while so many ordinary folks claim to have all the knowledge of the world.
Was Socrates lying; or was he just trying to be humble; or was he actually speaking the truth?
A lot of what we are ‘know’ may actually be useless for us unless we apply the triple filter test.
You can easily see that most of what is believed to be ‘knowledge’ is actually neither true, nor good nor even useful. Yet people are so proud having such knowledge that are busy convincing others that they have solutions of all the problems of the world.
Only an ignorant person can give a categorical reply to all questions of life. Most people believe that they can answer any question of life. It requires the wisdom of highest order to accept that you don’t know much about anything. Hence only a wise man can say these words “I don’t know”, while fools are answering all questions of life.