When I was in university, a lecturer asked a question, and directed it to me (it was the second time I was doing the same subject as I did not pass it the year before). As I did not know the answer, the lecturer asked me: “What do you do at home, do you play?” It made me laugh, as I found it very funny (and the truth is that at that time I was not a very good student and I used to do other activities that were more entertaining to me, so probably he was right). He continued asking the question to other people, but nobody knew the answer and suddenly, like by the art of magic it came to my mind. I put my hand up (without being sure if I was right) and I answered it…. And I was right!!! The lecturer just smiled and said: “Yes, you are right”. I found it especially rewarding, not because of knowing the answer, but because of saying it just one minute after he had made a joke about me for not knowing it and he was smiling and making jokes as nobody knew it.
This is just an introduction to thinking about questioning and the thoughts that provoke in people. Personally, I believe that questioning is the most powerful tool to think and to help others to think. Many times I find myself regretting things I have said, as I think people need to have the opportunity to think. The opportunity to think is not only the time, but the environment, the emotional support, the understanding that people have different ways of learning, different areas of knowledge and interest and that asking them the right question with a supportive attitude is the best way for them to think about it.
On the other side, I think I have the “weakness” of asking too many questions. Some people will think that I am asking the same question several times, some people will feel annoyed that I need to know more details (the truth is that something in me ask me to ask questions as I always see more possible answers)… on the other side, when somebody ask me a question, sometimes they laugh at the “confused” aspect of my face when I am thinking about it (probably because too many different possible answers come to my mind and other questions related to that question).
Many times I feel people think I am stupid but the truth is that I enjoy asking questions (probably I am bit stupid too :-) or maybe more than a bit), even asking the same question again in case the answer has changed or even just to give the opportunity to expand on it. The truth is that many times it is not exactly the same question, but with a small variation… but people feel “angry” for me asking… My assumption is that people sometimes feel uncomfortable to have to think or especially to recognise that they don´t have their thoughts and opinions fixed, but that they are variable and can be challenged. Or they don´t see the interest in thinking more about it. Why not celebrate the finding that our knowledge can be challenged and improved? Why not enjoying the connexions among different areas of knowledge, experiences and motivations? Why not have fun and enjoy relating things that are unrelated? Maybe because I am the stupid winner?