My sophomore year of college I was kicked out of a political science class because I didn’t ask appropriate questions.
Twenty-eight years later he is still teaching and I still can’t tell you why he did what he did.
I didn’t see a point to fight to stay in a class where the instructor was unwilling to answer serious questions posed by his students and figured my grade might suffer so I transferred out.
People & Shopping Malls
I ran into an old classmate at the mall and though I really didn’t feel like stopping I was more interested in making the requisite small talk than fighting the hordes to buy the few items I absolutely had to have.
It is too bad there are no prizes or accolades to be had for being able to speak for a solid 15 minutes without taking a breath because they would win hands down.
When sound finally ceased emanating from their lips and I realized they had asked me how I was doing I told them it had been a very difficult time and that I was really frustrated by a lot of things.
I watched their eyes dart back and forth as they looked for a way to escape and thought about releasing them but chose not to do so.
After all I had just been subjected to their 15 minute monologue, it was only fair I finish mine, even if they weren’t really listening.
So I held them for another two minutes and finished with, “people don’t really care. They just ask how you are and ignore you saying that life has been extra challenging because sometimes parenting is really fucking hard.”
“Maybe I’ll see you at our 30th reunion?”
I almost told him what I really thought about his question. I almost told him that it was shameful to be like that but I figured it would have had as much impact as telling my professor his telling me to leave was wrong.
I could tell you that becoming a father is where I learned the importance of asking the right questions but it is not the proverbial whole truth.
It is only partially true and the reason this is important is if you want to understand how I came to recognize the importance of asking the right questions you need more details.
It happened somewhere between fatherhood and the financial crash in 2008.
Those two life altering moments pushed me into focusing on what was happening in my life and the world around me.
It pushed me to ask myself:
Are You Asking The Right Questions?
That doesn’t mean I didn’t ask questions before because I always had. I liked knowing the answers about lots of different things so I asked lots of different questions.
But somewhere around that time I realized I could save myself a lot of trouble if I started trying to focus some of those questions.
I realized it was worth doing some prep work to figure out if the question(s) I had were going to provide me with the answers I wanted/needed.
It is possible that turning 40 made an impact on things too because that is when I remember realizing that I was closer to middle age than not.
Did I mention that I am not middle aged yet?
You do know that middle age starts when you are half as old as your oldest grandparent was when they died.
That means I won’t be middle aged until I am 48.
I still have a lot of questions about a lot of different things.
Some of those questions are for people but I don’t know if I will ever ask them. That is because there are some questions you don’t want to know the answers to and some you don’t truly care about.
The kids and I talk about that a lot.
Don’t ask questions you don’t really want to know the answer too but more often than not I try to focus the topic around learning how to ask the right question.
In my mind it is about figuring out what you want to do with your life so that you can try to build a map to get wherever it is you want to go.
Once you know what you need and what you want, well that is when you can really figure out if you are asking the right questions.
Got to run now, my verse is waiting for me to write it.