Questions: The Quest For Knowledge

I’ve never been afraid to ask questions. In order to learn, to grow, to share, to feel a give and take when it comes to communications, you can’t be afraid to ask specific questions to gain knowledge and understanding. I wonder in today’s society though if people appear content to accept what is given to them from a perceived expert- rather than doing their own research to be sure to cover all the bases about the subject at hand.

When it comes to the resolution of a problem or an area in life that you haven’t mastered, I do think there can be more than one way to arrive at the destination. How I go about mastering something I don’t know will be a combination of throwing myself into the matter, using trial and error, seeking out the experts but also being willing to ask specific questions from a broadbase field of people.

I’ve spent 20 years interviewing bands for music magazines and websites. The better interviews happen because of the time and effort I put into researching everything about the subject- I’ll look through my album liner notes, I’ll read their website and message forums, I’ll archive previous interviews- and this may be an overall 10-15 hour process before the day of the interview. I want readers to feel like they’ve learned something better about the artists and groups I talk to that they never would have learned before- and I think this will help them feel closer to the music they enjoy. I’ll question choices of musical direction, I’ll ask for their opinions on controversial subjects and then I’ll also attempt to get them to open up about their personalities, their hopes and their dreams.

I feel the only way you can get to know another person is to ask, ask, and ask again. We are continually evolving, every day is unique from the next. We can see something in our environment that triggers us on a fresh path, so it’s ok to peer into another person’s head and allow them the chance to explain their thought processes and how they were able to come to the decisions they finally made. Accepting life blindly to me is leading an unfulfilled life.

34 years into bowling and I still question decision making from time to time within myself and my teammates. I file the information away in my memory bank so that the next time I’m faced with a similar situation, if I want to succeed I know what direction to take and if it didn’t work out, I can choose a different path hopefully with better results.

For years I may have done my tax return preparations on my own- but when we adopted children from the state, I wanted to make sure that I went with an expert who is well versed on the changing laws and credits from year to year. Thus it’s worth it in my eyes to pay an accountant to do this- and I’m lucky enough to know a few other accountants through my interests in bowling and music that I can get second and third opinions on what to do before it comes time to file the proper paperwork.

These days I want to learn more about language, about successful people, about money, about psychology, about business, about mental health, about adoption and child rearing, about greatness, about positive thinking, about better decision making and probably 500 other topics. Where I think the greatest resource to start in the fulfillment of my quest for knowledge is the local library. Wisdom of the world at my fingertips and it’s free- you can’t beat that price these days. I read and take notes on the highlight concepts. I’ll then seek out other books about various subjects or questions that may have been brought up by the previous author.

Don’t be afraid to question in all walks of life. Take the time to ask questions of your doctors, your accountants, your teachers, your parents, your friends, your teammates, etc. Education only comes through information intake, swishing it about in your brain and then finding others who can help you to debate, reflect and respond accordingly. Question from the time you can speak clearly and for the next 100 years beyond. Humans are given a voice to use- so use it wisely, clearly and for the greater good!

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