What is the use of questioning?

sgkeatStarred Page By sgkeat, 21st Jan 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/_vu605o4/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Essays

That is the question. Do you like answers more than questions? We are used to hearing the phrase “Q&A”, and the focus is always on looking for the answers. What if I tell you that by switching our focus on questions, it could help to improve your relationship, your writer’s block, your online presence, make more money, anything? Would you be interested?

How do you react to questions?

When I was much younger, each time a teacher asked a question in class, I would be one of those who would quickly look down or pretend to be busy flipping the pages of the text, in the hope that the teacher would not call me to answer the question. Why? I didn’t have the answers.

As I grew older, I began to learn that questions are just the means for us to know how much we understand a topic. That is why tests and examinations are all question-based (N.B. there was less emphasis on project-typed assignments then). We simply need to provide, for each question, an answer.

Just as I stated above, notice how the statement went: “Why? I didn’t have the answers.”

I should have turned the table around and ask myself “Why I didn’t have the answers”.
Would things be different? If you haven’t noticed, the description for this article is just a bunch of questions. The bible verse “Ask and you shall be given” couldn’t be truer. We must not first seek for answers. We must learn to ask the right questions. We have always been the ones who give answers, maybe we should step back and ask questions instead.


For example, if a person feels his love for his spouse has waned, rather than stating “She loves me no more”, maybe the better approach is to ask “Why do I think my wife loves me no more?”. The former is a definitive statement for which you can no longer dissect. The latter is an open-type question with which he could begin to explore possibilities to improve, maybe through more self-questioning. He could start asking himself:

  • “Did her love wane or is it mine?” might lead to examining himself if he wants to show her more love.
  • “How can I win her back?” might lead to looking for ways to rekindle romanticism.
  • “What did I not do now that I used to do to cause this situation?”

And the list goes on. By then his mind should be gently pried open and the creative juices will look for solutions. Do note that not all questions are open-type. A question such as “Does she love me?” will end up with a yes or no. This again leads nowhere. Open-typed questions encourage exploration of more unknowns to derive a solution.

Take a second example of a writer, rather than state “I have a writer’s block” he could ask the following:

  • “Why do I think I am having a writer’s block?”
  • “If I do not have a writer’s block, what would I be writing now?”
  • “What is stopping me from getting inspiration from other writers?”

Gifts from the past

The bottom line is you can solve many problems if you open your mind with questions that don’t lead you to dead ends. Ask the right questions and you can change your life. I leave you with the following poem from Rudyard Kipling:

I keep six honest serving men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.

I hope these six men serve you well too in your problem solving. What do you think?
God bless.

(Note: If you are interested in article writing, why not join in the fun?)


Answers, Close, Gift, Open, Questions, Rudyard Kipling

Meet the author

author avatar sgkeat
I am here to contribute to the body of writing in the cloud. I hope to focus on topics of encouragement and slowly moving towards different genres. Join me at http://www.wikinut.com/in/tlnnm/

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author avatar bronnamdi
26th Jan 2011 (#)

A very nice article that kept me wondering why I ask questions.

My children are perfect in the art of questioning. They ask questions for questions they know the answers. For instance, are you my daddy?
Is my mummy your wife?

Questions, questions and more questions.

Questions give birth to answers!
Therefore, questions are mothers!

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author avatar sgkeat
26th Jan 2011 (#)

hahaha...maybe all mothers should take note. You are right...we were all born asking questions..then we try to find answer, forgetting how to ask questions. Thanks for the nice sharing too.

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