Learn to Question with Boldness

“Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.” – Thomas Jefferson

As I dig out from the depths of my post-Blog World Expo LA Inbox, I feel myself bubbling over with renewed energy and drive. As if planned, all of the sessions I attended at the conference had a recurring theme – question with boldness. And this theme did not end with my trip back to Boston because as I flip to the Editor’s Note in the December issue of Discover Magazine, the topic bubbling once more to the top is about the art of questioning as Galileo once questioned the Catholic Church. It just so happens that Amber Naslund discussed Galileo in her BWELA keynote. Coincidence? I think not.

“Galileo didn’t discredit prior astronomical observations; he added to them.” – Corey S. Powell, Editor-In-Chief, Discover Magazine

Remember the kid in the front of the classroom who would raise her hand (this was me) to ask the professor a question five minutes before class was dismissed? Everyone groaned. Yet how many people were thinking of the same question and were secretly happy this person was brave enough to defy peer pressure and ask the burning questions?

What are your burning questions? Are you asking these questions or waiting for someone else to do so for you?

You will be waiting a long time.

Another piece of sound advice from Tom Webster given at BWELA – Don’t stop with the first question/answer. Keep plugging away until you discover the right questions. Life is a series of unanswered questions and actions. Asking questions is a learning process  and when action is taken to further this process it is not about cutting someone off at the knees in the name of discovery.

“What my questions are intended to be are thoughtful inquiries to ensure we’re thinking the topics through well enough to discern information and put it to good use. My hope is that I’m criticizing ideas, not people, though the inability for most people to interpret tone in the written word prevents some from seeing that.” – Jason Falls

I am still that girl at the front of the classroom. I won’t hesitate to raise my hand if I don’t know something. Life, all of you, and time are my teachers. I will keep keep questioning and getting my hands dirty designing, building and flying the plane at the same time until my last breath.

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  • http://www.paperscissorskeyboard.com Sherry Carr-Smith

    I love this Lauren! How do you know what you don’t know if you don’t ask questions? Although you should ask questions before there are only five minutes left in class…

    • http://rootreport.com Lauren

      OK, so maybe I was also the girl who asked questions during the entire class…

  • http://www.honeybeeconsulting.com startabuzz

    The greatest lesson here? Don’t kowtow to the thinking of the many. Don’t assume that since the masses fall in line with something that it’s the right thing. I always want to ask the questions. I’m old enough not to care what people think of my questions, so I’ll keep asking (my queries will only get more ornery as I get older). Good on ya, Lauren Vargas. Wonderful seeing this fire lit in you, and look forward to blowing the bellows at it as often as possible.

    • http://rootreport.com Lauren

      Keep asking, Case! Thanks for helping me kindle that fire.

  • http://freetraffictip.com Tinu

    My college mentor also taught us that beyond asking questions to discard the fear of answering a question incorrectly, or of saying simply “I don’t know”. How much do we learn when making mistakes, or correcting an assumption? I wish more people understood the point you’re making – just that one small change could do so much good in the world.

  • http://overtonecomm.blogspot.com Kami Watson Huyse

    Catching up with you here. The right questions and a healthy dose of skepticism takes one far in life. We need to talk soon.