Thoughts on Questions (And Why We Ask Them)


Photo taken by the author; Harvest Hills Golf Club, Kelowna, B.C.

“What people think of as the moment of discovery is really the discovery of the question.”

– Jonas Salk

My favorite word in the English language is, “Why?”

It’s a question that will inevitably lead to subsequent questions that begin with this phrase.

I’ve been naturally asking this for as long as I can remember.

Only recently did I learn there’s an actual phrase used to describe what I’ve been doing all along: the Socratic Method.

There is where you ask one question, followed by another question, and so on, in an attempt to find out more information from the person you are talking with.

I am a deep, reflective person and I instinctively know there is much more that lies beneath the surface – and I am determined to find out what that is.

Not in a weird or awkward kind of way, but because I’m a curious guy and want to know more about what is around me, including the people I’m interacting with.

I am a huge (watch Jimmy Fallon’s impersonation of Donald Trump of this word) advocate of asking questions.

As I already mentioned, I do this instinctively and it comes as second-nature to me.

I enjoy honing the skill of learning to ask the right questions in order to fully grasp and understand somebody or something.

I’m always asking questions and I’ll ask questions to anyone and everyone I get a chance to.

People don’t intimidate me and I’m not afraid to engage in a conversation with a total stranger.

It brings me great confidence knowing that I can approach anyone, strike up a conversation, which naturally leads to asking questions about whatever it is we’re talking about.

When I do this with people, I notice how much the other person enjoys this.

After all, everyone’s favorite topic to talk about is themselves, and when given the chance, people will gladly tell you lots of cool stuff about themselves.

Asking other people questions is a way for them to tell me more about their favorite subject.

What I enjoy most about asking questions is the ability to pull information out of people that I otherwise would not have known. This allows me to learn new things about a person, which are clues into their personhood and how they think.

But it’s more than this, too.

What I’m referring to is listening as opposed to talking.

When I ask the questions, this invariably means that I’m the one doing the majority of the listening, with the other person doing most of the talking.

This process of asking other’s questions can be difficult in our world today.

Given that we live in a culture that is very self-centred, it can be a trying task to focus our attention on another person, other than ourselves, even for just two minutes.

I like what author Dave Kraft has to say: “the most important thing [to be] learning [is] being a better listener and asking lots of questions, rather than doing most of the talking.” (1)

To continue, God has given each of us a mind for a reason – to be used.

So use yours.

One part of Luke 10:27 (ESV) says, “You shall love the Lord your God…with all your mind.” (Emphasis mine)

There’s the Scripture for this. It’s in the Bible.

For those of us who love working our minds will agree by saying, “I will.”

Part of using our minds is to ask questions that has the ability to unlock new thought patterns, crazy ideas, and creative innovations that have never before been imagined.


(1) Dave Kraft, Leaders Who Last (Illinois: Crossway, 2010), 108.


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